Central Asia, Orissa, India, ca. 18th century CE. Cast from virtually pure silver - 99.9% silver to be precise - this figurine represents a mythical chimera animal - perhaps a variant of Reachisey given its elephantine trunk and dragon wings. Reachisey appears at Angkor Wat in the bas reliefs of the outer gallery. Another possibility could be the Gajasimha (Gaja-Simha meaning elephant lion) - a mythical animal possessing the body of a lion and the head of an elephant - featured as a temple guardian at Angkor and a warrior mount. The details are remarkable. Notice how the animal cocks its head toward the right, its visage comprised of almond-shaped eyes, a curled and twisted trunk, pointy tusks, and laid back ears - its body enlivened by a twisted tail and a choker with emerging wings. A wondrous hybrid creature made of very fine silver! Size: 2.375" L x 1.75" H (6 cm x 4.4 cm); Weight: 82.5 grams
See this watercolor depicting Simurgh Attaching a Gaja-Simha Carrying Elephants - the figure of Gaja-Simha with the yellow body of a lion, four golden wings, and a red elephant’s head - http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/88273.html?mulR=989
Provenance: House of Indus collection
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