Antique 18th century Himalayan Nepalese Ritual Bronze lamp Sukunda
A very good quality antique Himalayan Nepalese large ritual bronze lamp Sukunda, 18th century, Nepal, Newar tribe Kathmandu Valley.
The lamp consists of an oil storage pitcher with a shaped handle with a finial in the form of a five -headed cobra. Nestled within the hooded canopy is an image of a Hindu deity, Vishnu, wearing a tall crown.
The pitcher holds fuel made of clarified yak butter for use during rituals. The fuel was then ladled out and put on the cast leaf-shaped vessel at the front, where a wick is burned using the fuel.
Beautifully cast the leaf-shaped dish (the dalupa) is topped with an aureole form of the lotus petals with cast in relief figure of the, four-armed Hindu God Ganesh, in the center.
Buddhist and Hindu Newars in the Kathmandu Valley inaugurate life events with the Sagan ritual, in which a household’s female elder lights the Sukunda lamp and makes food offerings. In this example, the dish-shaped lamp is presided over by Ganesha and his consort flanked by rearing lions. Amid this auspicious imagery, skulls ringing the vessel waist speak to Ganesha’s fearsome protective powers.
Burning of butter lamps is seen regularly in temples during prayers. The practice is said to help focus the mind and aid meditation, to dispel the darkness of our own ignorance. It is also used during funerals dedicated to the deceased to ease their passage after death. Traditionally, a twist of cotton wicking was lit in the bowl filled with clarified yak butter. Today vegetable oil is also used.
Please note that this is not a modern tourist souvenir Sukunda like most of the other Sukunda lamps on the market, but this is an authentic 18th century Sekunda of museum quality Art object.
To see a related Sekunda lamp in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, please view the link below:
On April 25, 2008, a similar Sukunda lamp was published in the Aguttes auction house catalog, “ARTS D’ASIE, ARTS PRIMITIFS” (Drouot-Richelieu - Salle 2) at an estimation price of 7000-9000 euros and was sold for 6500 euros. This was 13 years ago when antiques were cheaper than today.
The buyer will be provided with a copy of the pages from the mentioned book, together with a certificate of authenticity.
Height: 14 cm (5.51 inches).
The overall length: 17 cm (6.69 inches).
The lamp is in excellent condition considering its age of over 200 years.
No cracks, no restorations, or repairs, with a nice old patina.
ACCOMPANIED BY CERTIFICATES OF AUTHENTICITY