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18. Throne of the Patan Kings
17th century
Gilt copper, wood, modern upholstery
Object Spec. Reg 2

Malla Throne

For more than a hundred years this was the royal throne of the kings of Patan. Like all the kings of Nepal they were considered to be incarnations of Vishnu. To convey this association the royal throne creates the illusion of the enthroned king as Vishnu-Seated-on-Garuda, the god's mount, and accompanied by the multi-headed serpent Ananta/Shesha. Garuda, spreading his wings beneath the royal seat, is entirely a bird except for his human hands. He clutches in his talons a pair of serpents whose bodies surround him and end in a heart-shaped knot below. Above Garuda there is an additional pair of large serpents with mythical sea monster (makara) heads, dragon-like claws, and tails joined in a figure eight.

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text © Mary Slusser and images © Patan Museum
photo by Rupert Steiner