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Serpent Deity (Nagaraja)
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Serpent Deity (Nagaraja)


Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Crowned by a five-headed cobra whose coiled body weaves itself into a throne, this bejeweled figure is a "nagaraja," or divine serpent-king. As inhabitants of watery places and guardians of the earth’s hidden treasures, serpent deities are associated with fecundity and wealth. This nagaraja holds a gem in one hand and a plate of offerings in the other. Once inlaid with semiprecious stones, the sculpture may have functioned in a Hindu or Buddhist context, for nagas are sacred across religious traditions.
Exhibitions
  • Desire and Devotion: Art from India, Nepal, and Tibet in the John and Berthe Ford Collection. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara; Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham; Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong. 2001-2003.
Provenance Oriental Antiquities, London [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; John and Berthe Ford, Baltimore, November 19, 1969, by purchase.
Credit Promised gift of John and Berthe Ford

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Creator
Period
11th century
Medium
copper alloy
(Sculpture)
Accession Number
F.151
Measurements
H: 5 1/4 in. (13.34 cm); Height with base: 7 × W: 4 × D: 2 in. (17.78 × 10.16 × 5.08 cm)
Geographies
  • Nepal (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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