TYPE: Museum quality gilded Newari Sukunda (from nepal)

CIRCA: 1700’s / 18th century

Elaborately decorated museum quality gilded bronze Newari oil lamp known as a Sukunda, that has been hand crafted by an exceptionally gifted artisan in the late Malla period in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. (The Malla Dynasty was the ruling dynasty of the Kathmandu Valley from 1201 to 1779). The Newars are the time-honoured historical inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley who partake fervently in their age old traditions, and a Sukunda is a traditional Newari oil lamp used in many Newari religious events, especially marriages, even to this day. It is a hollow thick walled vase-like gilded bronze vessel, this one elaborately constructed with various sacred Hindu images adorning it: at the front of the vessel, directly behind the protruding ‘front-plate’, stands an intricate image of Lord Ganesh, the elephant headed son of Lord Shiva and the bestower of good fortune. The handle is meant to personify the body of a naga (or serpent, this one with seven heads) which provides shade to the crowned facial image of Lord Vishnu. The Sumicha, as the accompanying ladle is known, is a peacock headed long-handled spoon with a cup-shaped bowl used to transfer oil stored in the larger vessel into the shallow protruding front-plate to use as fuel to keep a lighted wick that had been placed there burning. It is integral but separate part without which a Sukunda is not considered to be complete. The overall height is 31cm – 12 3/8″ while the overall / maximum width 11 3/4″ 30cm. The diameter of vase / vessel itself is 14cm – 5 1/2″ while the overall length of ladle / spoon is 26cm – 10 ¼”, with a combined weight of just over 3kg (approximately 6.75lbs). This Sukunda has been gilded (with gold) which denotes it came from a family of wealth and status. A genuine collectors piece of exceptional quality and condition rarely seen outside of a museum.







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