Lamps are a significant part of Indian life and culture, which explains the elaborate sculptural tradition surrounding them. No home is complete without one - an ancient tradition stipulates that lamps be lit in ghee in time for duskfall in order to mitigate the dark, which is symbolic of ignorance and evil. Despite the practical function of the same having been overridden with the advent of modern times, this ritual continues to serve its spiritual purpose in Indian homes to this day. A single ghee lamp is lit in a quiet corner, preferably at the altar, in most Indian homes to this day. As for temples and monasteries, tall beauteous lamps as this Nachiyarkoil number are lit in honour of the deities housed within.
From the carved wide-rimmed base emerges a curvaceous stem etched with traditional motifs. At three different points along its length are a profusion of branches with multiwick peripheral lamps. From each static peripheral lamp dangles another. Each of these lamps are simply smaller than but identical to the crowning annam-lamp, so called because of the vine-beaked peacock ('annam' is the Tamil word for peacock) showing off its delicately carved plumage at the centre of each lamp. Each of the protrusions in these lamps has the characteristic shape of the typical South Indian temple gharbhagriha. There are a total of thirty-one five-wick lamps in this gorgeous work of art, which when lit together would add to the resplendence of the brass workmanship.
Brass Statue From South India
55.00 inch Height x 31.00 inch Width x 31.00 inch Depth