This figurine belongs to a group of objects depicting ladies at leisure; here, the woman plays a stringed instrument. They likely served as mirror handles: each has a hole drilled from the top to receive the mirror fixture. Similar objects have been recorded at Khotan, in Central Asia, and are presumably the legacy of a luxury trade in such goods.
Samuel Eilenberg , New York (until 1987; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Lotus Transcendent: Indian and Southeast Asian Art from the Samuel Eilenberg Collection," October 2, 1991–June 28, 1992.
Sydney. Art Gallery of New South Wales. "Dancing to the Flute: Music and Dance in Indian Art," June 12, 1997–August 24, 1997.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Buddhism Along the Silk Road," June 2, 2012–February 10, 2013.