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Old 7th April 2022, 01:53 PM   #1
fernando
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Question Indian it is ... but what ?

This thing has been with me since 2014. Its diameter measures 50 cms (19"). Whether this is a tea table top ... or whatever, i ignore. The scenes depicted feature a story; maybe a member studying Indian culture is able to tell what the story is about.
Apparently the back was intervened (grey painted) to comply with later device features.
I would love to know what this thing is about.


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Old 13th April 2022, 10:48 AM   #2
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Not a simple comment, Gentlemen ?
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Old 13th April 2022, 04:11 PM   #3
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Looks like a table top, underside has screw holes for 3 legs o a 3-section base. 3 make it easier to keep steady where 4 might wind up with one leg or more uneven requiring a shim to keep it from rocking. Just like for a tripod or stool.


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Last edited by fernando; 13th April 2022 at 05:09 PM. Reason: Spare talk
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Old 5th December 2022, 07:13 PM   #4
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I think its a shield with artwork from the Ramayama ...When Rama hears Sita has been taken, he and his brother Lakshman set off on a quest to save her. On their journey, Rama and Lakshman travel to Kishkindha, the kingdom of monkeys. They befriend the monkey king Hanuman, who helps the brothers. Learning that Ravana has taken Sita to his island kingdom of Lanka, they set off with a vast monkey army to get her back. please see https://asia.si.edu/the-epic-that-inspired-diwali/

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Old 6th December 2022, 12:02 PM   #5
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Thank you Perter. I would never make it myself. Your suggestion is rather plausible .
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Old 6th December 2022, 02:41 PM   #6
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Well, the central tondo depicts Durga killing the demon Mahishasura.

At least three avatars of Vishnu are recognizable - Matsya (fish), Kurma (turtle) and Narasimha, disemboweling Hiranyakashipu.

There is a possibility of at least one other Vishnu's avatar - Parashurama, depicted with axe, bow and quiver.

Perhaps there are also a couple of episodes of a certain tale, but I rather doubt it's Ramayana.
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Old 6th December 2022, 04:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post
Well, the central tondo depicts Durga killing the demon Mahishasura.

At least three avatars of Vishnu are recognizable - Matsya (fish), Kurma (turtle) and Narasimha, disemboweling Hiranyakashipu.

There is a possibility of at least one other Vishnu's avatar - Parashurama, depicted with axe, bow and quiver.

Perhaps there are also a couple of episodes of a certain tale, but I rather doubt it's Ramayana.
Gustav, you beat me to the punch. I do not see episodes I recognize from the Ramayana. The gods seem to be victorious in these scenes. The crux of the story of Ravana is that the gods could not defeat him, therefore Rama and his brothers had to be born. I do see Durga and Vishnu as mentioned. I wish I had the time this week to identify the rest. I love a good iconographic puzzle.
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Old 7th December 2022, 11:13 AM   #8
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Very likely at least one other avatar of Vishnu, Varaha, is also depicted, on the left tableau. The layer of painting is gone exactly at that place, but possibly the outline of boars trunk can be recognized on the centaur-like figure.

I think we quite surely can see this table top (?) in a Vaishnavite context.
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Old 7th December 2022, 11:21 AM   #9
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And here in the left tableau we most likely see another Vishnu's avatar , Vamana, in his boy-like shape with umbrella, before King of Asuras, Bali.
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Old 7th December 2022, 11:38 AM   #10
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And the last two: on the left Vishnu's avatar Rama, on the right Vishnu's avatar Krishna, killing king Kamsa.
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Old 8th December 2022, 10:45 AM   #11
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Thumbs up Thank you so much ...

Truly amazing; eight years to find out what is going on these scenes !!!
I bought this thing in a street fair; just because the price was tempting. I have it since then decorating the walls of my garage. Yet its value increased immensely now that the riddle is cracked ... thanks to you both Gentlemen. Gustav, you were tireless .



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Last edited by fernando; 8th December 2022 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 8th December 2022, 03:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post
And the last two: on the left Vishnu's avatar Rama, on the right Vishnu's avatar Krishna, killing king Kamsa.
If it is Rama, then is his adversary Ravana with the multiple (100) heads? Isn't he usually dark rather than light skinned? I had been puzzling over that one before you wrote.
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Old 8th December 2022, 04:21 PM   #13
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Exactly, that's Ravana.
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Old 10th December 2022, 06:15 PM   #14
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Thank you again for sharing such amazing expertise.
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Old 10th December 2022, 08:16 PM   #15
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You are welcome, Fernando.
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Old 11th December 2022, 04:20 PM   #16
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Posting after a long time. Note similarity to Ganjifa playing cards though the Ganjifa cards are usually circular. The artwork seems of the same type. Regards.
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Old 11th December 2022, 08:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anandalal N. View Post
Posting after a long time. Note similarity to Ganjifa playing cards though the Ganjifa cards are usually circular. The artwork seems of the same type. Regards.
Thank you Anandalal.
Interested Party, Gustav; what do you think of such reasoning ?
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Old 12th December 2022, 11:17 AM   #18
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Anandalal N. speaks about Dashavatara Ganjifa, and certainly knows this terrain much better then me.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dashavatara

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganjifa
https://i-p-c-s.org/pattern/sawdas.html
https://i-p-c-s.org/pattern/nosdas.html
https://i-p-c-s.org/pattern/kurnol.html

It is very well possible, that a Ganjifa card painter did the paintings on this table top (?). At least since the beginning of 20th cent. card painting was a dying business until it virtually stopped around 1950, and I guess, any kind of commission could have been welcome for painters.

Last edited by Gustav; 12th December 2022 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 12th December 2022, 12:11 PM   #19
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Duly noted.
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