"The bulging eyes, flame-like mane, fangs and distinctive rearing pose are all typical of interpretations of the yali (or vyala) at that time"
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, inv. no.IS.146-1986 (http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O71021/figure-unknown/).
The close example in the Victoria and Albert Museum also measures fifteen centimetres (discounting the protruding element on the present example). These small models appear be directly inspired from the monumental carved pillars in the form of yalis on the architecture of South Indian temples such as the Jalakanteshvara temple in Vellore, Tamil Nadu (Jaffer 2002, p.67).