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Robert S.
Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 5767
Experience:  Expert in decorative arts especially ceramics, silver, paintings, and furniture.
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This piece feels like solid brass and is marked shiva made

Customer Question

This piece feels like solid brass and is marked shiva made in India India arts what's it mean and what's the value
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Robert S. replied 11 months ago.

Hi Sherry,

My name is ***** ***** I would be happy to help with your Indian figure.

How big is it? Height?

Also, could you very kindly attach a photo of the "Shiva, made in India" It will help me put a date on it for you.

Many thanks,

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The shiva tag is no longer on it :( but the sticker is . It's 9 inches high and 6 across
Expert:  Robert S. replied 11 months ago.

Okay great, thanks for all that Sherry, that's just what I needed to see.

I'll have a full answer and a value for you as soon as I can.

Expert:  Robert S. replied 11 months ago.

Hi Sherry,

Your brass figure is called a "Shiva Nataraja" that depicts the god Shiva dancing in a ring of fire, standing victoriously upon the "dwarf of ignorance" and on a stylized lotus blossom, symbol of spiritual purity.

Shiva is one of the three principal Hindu gods and the nataraja is this depiction as "Lord of the Dance" -the cosmic, ecstatic dancer.

Yours is an adaptation of a bronze from the Chola dynasty and typical of those made in Tamil Nadu (a southern state in India) in the 10th century.

They were traditionally old temple devotional objects. The originals were decked with colored fabric and paraded through the streets during processionals so that devotees could see them.

Yours almost certainly originated in Swamimalai, near Kumbakonam, a major center for bronze casting in Tamil Nadu where every conceivable ornamental brass or bronze idol is made. Hard to be exact about the date, but most likely 1950s - 1970s in date.

These are still produced in great quantities so prices for them are modest, even these vintage ones. However, yours is definitely a cut above the ordinary, because it is selectively highlighted in two-tone brass. Also, the hands and feet are well defined, another feature of quality.

This example, for instance, very similar to yours, sold on line (eBay) for $45, which is about right. I would give yours an auction or on-line value in the range of $40 - $75.

If you were to see if for sale in a retail setting, in an antique store, say, it would have a price tag of $150. This is also the replacement value for insurance purposes.

I do hope this helps!

Please let me know if you'd like me to explain or expand on any of the above, I would be glad to.

Best wishes,

Expert:  Robert S. replied 11 months ago.

Hi Sherry. I hope you got my answer on the Shiva figure (posted above).

If there's anything more I can help you with on this please don't hesitate to ask. If not, could you very kindly rate my services (with the stars or "accept" button) as this is how I get paid by JustAnswer at no extra cost to you. We can still continue to communicate here on this thread after you do. Many thanks, Robert.