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Figure - Sculpture


  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Coimbatore (made)

  • Date:

    12th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

A figure of Krishna as a boy dancing in the pose kaliya-damana (subduing the serpent Kaliya). The left hand is extended in pataka hasta as though touching the tail of the serpent, and the right hand is in abhaya mudra. The hair is dressed high into a sort of kesabandha with a conical kirita-mukuta. Behind the head there is a flower-like siras cakra (disc for hanging gardlands). Above the right breast is a srivatsa symbol. The body is naked except for the beaded harness (channavira) and very simple girdle which leaves the genitals exposed. Other details include patra-kundala ear pendants, keyura armlets, bangles anklets, and padasaras on the feet. The figure is fixed to a circular lotus pedestal cast in one piece with a square base, the latter with upright tenons for the support of an arched surround or torana, now missing. The surface of the pedestal is encrusted with carbonate matter indicating former earth-burial. Examined under a stereo-binocular magnifier, the surface of the figure shows pitting due to corrosion.

Place of Origin

Coimbatore (made)


12th century (made)



Materials and Techniques



Height: 42 cm

Object history note

Bequeathed by Lord Curzon of Kedleston in 1927, Viceroy of India (1898-1905).
Formed part of the collection made by Lord Curzon during the course of his travels in the East in the latter part of the 19th Century.

Descriptive line

Dancing figure of Krishna as a boy, bronze, Coimbatore, 12th century.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Displayed (on loan) t Bethnal Green Museum from 1906 and later bequeathed by Lord Curzon to the V&A in 1927.
Published in D.R.Thapar- Icons in Bronze, Bombay/London 1961 plate XVIII Described as "Chola".

Labels and date

Copper alloy
Coimbatore, South India
Chola period, 12th century

Bequeathed by Lord Curzon, Viceroy
of India (1898-1905) [25/09/2000]

Production Note

South India

Attribution note: The metal, examined by spectographic analysis, proved to be copper with more than 2% each of tin and lead; more than 0.2% zinc, nickel and iron, and smaller traces of silver and aluminium.


South & South East Asia Collection

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