Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Handle with Intertwined Figures

early Malla period
13th century
Nepal (Kathmandu Valley)
Copper alloy
H. 6 1/8 in. (15.5 cm); Gr. W. 1 9/16 in. (4 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Perry J. Lewis Gift, 1990
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 252
This elaborate openwork handle for a ritual vessel is composed of a five intertwined nagas, snake deities charged with the protection of the earth’s waters and its riches. The nagas appear with human torsos, snake hoods, jewels, crowns, and extended snakes bodies. As this handle likely formed part of vessel for ritual lustration, naga imagery would be highly propitious.
Related Objects

Shiva Seated with Parvati

Date: 11th century Medium: Copper alloy Accession: 1987.218.1 On view in:Gallery 252

The Bodhisattva Padmapani Lokeshvara

Date: 11th century Medium: Copper alloy with gilding and semiprecious stones Accession: 1982.220.2 On view in:Gallery 252


Date: 10th–11th century Medium: Gilt-copper alloy Accession: 1986.501.8 On view in:Gallery 252

Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Transcendent Wisdom, in an Awesome Aspect

Date: 10th century Medium: Gilt-copper alloy with color and gold paint Accession: 1982.220.13 On view in:Gallery 252

Linga Altar with Four Faces of Shiva

Date: dated 1045 Medium: Copper alloy Accession: 1987.142.314 On view in:Gallery 252