Shiva is one of the central deities of the Southeast Asian Brahmanical Triad, which also includes Brahma and Vishnu. Chatelaine's Antiques Collectibles Appraisals


Click Here

Chatelaine's Antiques & Appraisals Magazine > Asian Works of Art > Our Opinion: Shiva Sculpture

In Our Shop:

Indian Statues

Tibetan Peaceful Deities

Tibetan Wrathful Deities

Tibetan Mandala & Thangka Paintings

Sculpture 'Bronzes' and Reproductions

A Chinese Sculpture?

Shiva Sculpture

Thinking Buddha or Not?


Dear 1Earth,
I have always loved the beautiful, spiritual art of ancient India and began to collect sacred sculptures several years ago. I was fortunate enough to meet Dr. Stella Kramrisch, former curator of the Indian art department of the Philadelphia Art Museum, and purchase a rare treasure from her private collection of Indian art.

A sacred sculpture that requires little maintenance

I think this item is a 17th-century mask of Lord Shiva, a Hindu deity. It's made of brass and measures 12 inches high by 8 inches wide.

Dr. Kramrisch said that this mask was originally stored in a temple and was only taken out for procession on days that were sacred to the deity.

 I would be most interested in learning more about this sculpture.
Kenneth G.

Dear Kenneth,
Shiva is one of the central deities of the Southeast Asian Brahmanical Triad, which also includes Brahma and Vishnu.

You can tell your sculpture is Shiva by the five-leaf crown, elongated ears, and third eye in the center of your sculpture's forehead. 

These plaques are often incorrectly referred to as masks. They were used along with a sculpted body and covered with the appropriate clothes. The plaques were icons in which metal (like the bronze on yours) was used sparingly to make them affordable. They're most commonly seen in the northwest Himalayan areas of Kulu and Chamba.

Your plaque was probably made by an artisan who worked within a traditional framework. There are indications of the artist's originality and inventiveness within the traditional constraints. 

Don't try to clean the sculpture. Just mount it on a stand, leave it alone, and enjoy it.


Shiva 3000
by Jan Lars Jensen

Shiva Puja and Advanced Yajna
by Satyananda Saraswati

Shiva's Fire
by Suzanne Fisher Staples

Shiva and Arun
by P. Parivaraj

Meditations on Shiva : The Shivastotravali of Utpaldeva
by Constantina Rhodes Bailly

Shiva Dancing
by Bharti Kirchner

Shiva in Steel
by Fred Saberhagen

Cromartie V. the God Shiva: Acting Through the Government of India
by Rumer Godden

by Paula Fouce

Dance of Shiva
by William Deverell

Iconography and Ritual of Siva at Elephanta
by Charles Collins

Lives of Indian Images
by Richard Davis

Erotic Sculpture of India: a Socio-cultural study
by D. Desai

Gods, Guardians, and Lovers: Temple Sculptures from North India A. D. 700-1200
by Vishakha Desai