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.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art of the Himalayas," December 15, 2010–December 4, 2011.

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