Lot 61
  • 61

Surya Black stone Eastern India, Pala Period

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  • Surya
  • Black stone
  • height 36 in. (91.4 cm.)
The Sun God standing on a lotus plinth flanked by his attendants. His scribe, the portly and bearded Danda is on his right holding a writing implement and his bodyguard, the youthful Pingala is to his left and holds a sword. All three figures are clad in fitted tunics, trousers and boots. A short dagger is tucked into Surya's jeweled belt and he holds two large lotus blossoms in each of his hands. The stele terminates in a cusped arch and its circumference is decorated with a motif of stylized flames.

Catalogue Note

The cult of Sun worship is believed to have originated in the Near East and therefore Surya is frequently depicted in non-Indic Central Asian attire. Compare the short dagger at Surya's waist with another image of the deity in the State Archaeological Museum of Bengal, Calcutta; see Huntington, 1984, pl. 42.