Artist/maker unknown, Nepalese or Tibetan

Made in Nepal, Asia
or Tibet, Asia

Malla Dynasty (1200-1769)

16th - 17th century

Mercury-gilded copper alloy with red paint

14 × 12 3/16 × 2 1/4 inches (35.6 × 31 × 5.7 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. J. Norman Henry, 1927

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A prabhamandala is an ornament commonly placed behind statues to indicate their hallowed status. The ornate punchwork, use of repoussé, characteristic scrollwork, and telltale red paint in this example suggest that Newar craftsmen made it for a Newar or Tibetan patron. As is typical, the embellishment flickers with curls that may be flames or foliage, and houses a fantastic zoo. At the top a mythical garuda bird grasps serpentine water-wealth deities called naga-one male, one female. Two elephantine makara figures roar above flying horned hippogriffs that are ridden by small spirits. At the bottom two tiny elephants shoulder lotuses that support two divine attendants.