A KUSHAN MOTTLED PINK SANDSTONE PILLAR FRAGMENT, MATHURA, INDIA, 2ND/3RD CENTURY
carved in relief, probably from a railing pillar, depicting the head of a salabhanjika, holding a khadga in her right hand, leafy branches behind, her hair gathered in an elaborate five-fold bun, mounted
This fragment relates to the well-known series of Kushan railing pillars from the Mathura region, examples of which can be found in several museums both in India and the West. While the majority of these celestial maidens are depicted simply stretching out or holding a mirror, examples holding a sword are more unusual. This may relate to the 'sword dance' referred to in early texts in which foreign girls would perform. See K. Codrington, 'The Art of India and Pakistan', London 1947, pl.54 for a salabhanjika holding up a similar sword in the National Museum, New Delhi. See also S. Asthana, 'Mathura Kala', New Delhi 1999, plates 103 and 105.
£3000 - 4000 Click here for details of BP and other fees payable on this lot.