PRESENTING A GLORIOUS Antique Indian Shiva Cotton Tapestry.

We are of the opinion that this is from the late 19th Century, circa 1880.

Made of Cotton and hand-painted with an image of Shiva, heavily bejeweled with her third eye and an elaborate headress that curls and ends in what appear to be lotus flowers and green birds of paradise on either side. Her hands appear to be holding a highly decorated bowl with lotus flower.

Very vibrant colors, but the age of the piece is evident from the minor discoloration as evidenced on the white pars in the photos and the transference of what appears to be some red letters or script.

We believe this to be a highly desirable piece of Southeast Asian or Indian textile or tapestry and is most likely from Central India as the original collector seems to have had a ‘connection’ with Central India, in that, most of the items he collected were from that region and most were purchased by him at either Christie’s or Sotheby’s NY Auctions between 1999 and 2008. (SEE OUR SOUTHEAST ASIAN ANTIQUITIES SECTION FOR MORE PIECES FROM THIS COLLECTION).

Shiva¬†(/ňą Éiňźv…ô/;¬†Sanskrit: ŗ§∂ŗ§Ņŗ§Ķ,¬†Ňöiva, lit.¬†the auspicious one) also known as¬†Mahadeva¬†(lit.¬†the great god)¬†is one of the¬†principal deities¬†of¬†Hinduism. He is one of the supreme beings within¬†Shaivism, one of the major traditions within contemporary Hinduism.

Shiva is known as ‚ÄúThe Destroyer‚ÄĚ within the¬†Trimurti, the Hindu trinity that includes¬†Brahma¬†and¬†Vishnu.¬†In Shaivism tradition, Shiva is one of the supreme beings who creates, protects and transforms the universe.¬†In the¬†Shaktism¬†tradition, the Goddess, or¬†Devi, is described as one of the supreme, yet Shiva is revered along with Vishnu and Brahma. A goddess is stated to be the energy and creative power (Shakti) of each, with¬†Parvati¬†(Sati) the equal complementary partner of Shiva.¬†He is one of the five equivalent deities in¬†Panchayatana puja¬†of the¬†Smarta¬†tradition of Hinduism.

According to the Shaivism sect, the highest form of Ishvar is formless, limitless, transcendent and unchanging absolute Brahman, and the primal Atman (soul, self) of the universe. There are many both benevolent and fearsome depictions of Shiva. In benevolent aspects, he is depicted as an omniscient Yogi who lives an ascetic life on Mount Kailash as well as a householder with wife Parvati and his two children, Ganesha and Kartikeya. In his fierce aspects, he is often depicted slaying demons. Shiva is also known as Adiyogi Shiva, regarded as the patron god of yoga, meditation and arts.

The iconographical attributes of Shiva are the serpent around his neck, the adorning crescent moon, the holy river Ganga flowing from his matted hair, the third eye on his forehead, the trishula or trident, as his weapon, and the damaru drum. He is usually worshipped in the aniconic form of Lingam. Shiva is a pan-Hindu deity, revered widely by Hindus, in India, Nepaland Sri Lanka.


Antique Indian Shiva Cotton Tapestry.

Provenance: See above. From a Dallas Private Collection.

Condition: Good. Some color bleeding with age.

Dimensions: 66 inches Tall and 43 inches wide


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