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Ivory Throne Leg
13th century

Eastern Ganga dynasty

H: 34.9 W: 15.7 D: 13.2 cm
Orissa, India

Gift of Charles Lang Freer F1907.8

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Since at least the second century, Indian sculptors created ivory thrones to proclaim royal command. On this splendidly carved throne leg, a gajasimha—a mythical creature combining the strength of an elephant (gaja) and a lion (simha)—calmly dispatches the demonic warrior dangling from its trunk. The sculptor contrasted the forceful curves and broad smooth surfaces of the elephant-lion with an intricately realized mountain landscape. Archers and wildlife gambol through its crags, while a hermit meditates and a lion slumbers.