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5. Shiva/Parvati (Ardhanarisvara)
Nepal
11th century
copper repoussé
Object ???, (gallery D, case 1, D-2 and D-1)

Shiva Parvati This gilt repoussé plaque is one of a group found in 1978 near the village of Purandi, a few kilometers west of Pharping, on the southwest rim of the Kathmandu Valley. It is unknown whether the hoard was a thief's trailside cache, or whether it was a genuine archaeological deposit.

The plaques-eleven in all-represent Hindu deities. The pierced holes indicate that they were probably nailed to the exterior of the temple as is done today. An inscription on the plaque shown here, dated A.D. 1085, states that they were offered along with other images, now missing, to Shiva. The inscription is especially important since very few Nepalese images bear an inscribed date. Stylistically the images are similar to the nearby stone image of Surya, also dated by an inscription, which predates them by only twenty years. Both the sculpture and the gilded plaques were almost certainly made by artisans dwelling in Patan not far from this museum.

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