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Nataraja Wood Carving (IBS298)


Items of this size are few and far between. In all the years this is largest we have seen for sale anywhere. It is a beautifully detailed wood carving of Shiva as Nataraja, destroying and creating the universe at the same time by doing a cosmic dance.

It is carved from a single piece of wood and most probably adorned a temple chariot, used to transport the bronze temple icons during procession. These chariots are huge in size and are covered almost entirely in wood carving like this one. Because of their nature and the material they are often quite damaged but this is in remarkable condition. There is only a few minor areas of damage namely Shiva's face has been repaired with an old nail to keep a split in the wood in place, a few minor splits here and there, but nothing of any significance.

Shiva is depicted in a classic posture with his right leg raised vertically. In his headdress is an image of the Goddess Ganga. He has 10 arms, all holding the usual attributes, trisula (trident), agni (fire), chandrahasa (sword), damaru (drum) etc. Above Shiva are 2 winged devis and a kirtimukha, (mythical beast). Around Shiva's neck is a magnificent garland. At Shiva's feet are depictions of the other 2 God in the Hindu Triad. On His left is Bramha and on His right Vishnu. This illustrates Shiva's magnificence as the ultimate God. Brahma and Vishnu are both playing instruments to please Shiva as he performs his dance. As usual there is a demon or dwarf under Shiva's standing foot depicting ignorance.

The back has been mounted with 2 metal strips and wires for easy hanging. This would look amazing hung on a wall. The photo of the back has a 12 inch (30cm) ruler just to illustrate the size of this carving. It is doubtful we will ever come across such a carving of this size and in this condition.


£2200  $3602  €2636  
£1750  $2865  €2097  
South India
Size (cm):
123.20 x 42.00

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