Featured Bali? goddess or woman carving - who is she? - and how old?

Discussion in 'Antique Discussion' started by aaroncab, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. aaroncab

    aaroncab Well burnt ember.

    I found this beautiful Balinese carving today - 11"(28cm) high. I believe (based on AJ's posts and help on some other items) that this is coromandel wood. I'll try to get some pics in sunlight tomorrow as my light box proved a bit harsh for it at night without any natural light.

    Who is this lovely lady? I haven't been able to figure out if she's a goddess/dewi or a human with a crown? Also what is she holding?

    42406295305_bf9f5f5ef1_kdev.jpg 42406295235_6455c3d0fc_kdev.jpg 42592675784_43b53fe3f3_kdev.jpg 43310600371_3428f23c12_kdev.jpg 41500813090_8dd7c1ad4e_k (1)dev.jpg 41500810660_d3e8a83055_kdev.jpg 28441032647_ead352e7ae_kdev.jpg 43310603481_7f936d7e2c_k (1)dev.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  2. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Yes, it is Balinese, carved from coromandel wood, probably between 1960-1980.
    There is still Art Deco influence, especially in the shaping of the kain, or wrapped skirt, and the way the two kain shawls drop down into the base.

    The crown is the crown of a deity, with that little turret on top. But your elegant lady is a man in disguise.;) She features in one of the great Hindu epics, the Mahabharata.
    One chapter of the epic is how the Devas, divine beings, had part of their power stolen from them. This power is commonly referred to as immortality, but is actually higher knowledge and wisdom. In order to regain their power they had to drink Amrita, the nectar of immortality.
    I will spare you the complicated details of how they obtained Amrita, but when they did, their rivals the Asuras took it.
    In order to take the Amrita from the Asuras, Vishnu, being a clever Deva/deity, assumed the form of the essence of feminine beauty and grace. This was either an illusion or a disguise. He managed to enchant the Asuras into giving him the Amrita. This is how he is depicted here, a very graceful young lady, holding the vessel containing Amrita.
    In Hinduism this illusion by Vishnu is generally called Mohini. She appears in other myths as well, using the essence of femininity to fight demons and other 'unwanted elements'.
    In Bali most people would call her Dewi, just like the supreme female deity. That is also correct, Vishnu could not have accomplished the illusion without Dewi's help in using part of her divine femininity.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  3. aaroncab

    aaroncab Well burnt ember.

    I couldn't have hoped for a better exposition on the subject of this carving! Thank you thank you AJ! There is so much story and symbology in these Hindu images... always so fascinating and much more than surface deep.
     
  4. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Pleasure as always, aaron.
    That is why most of my Balinese carvings are of deities, I love the beauty of the older Balinese carvings, but mythology and spirituality add extra meaning. Balinese Art Deco deities combine the two.
    I just realized, I have never posted a picture of my Art Deco deities, I'll have to remedy that.:)
     
  5. aaroncab

    aaroncab Well burnt ember.

    Would very much enjoy seeing them AJ.
     
    judy, Christmasjoy, komokwa and 2 others like this.
  6. AuDragon

    AuDragon Well-Known Member

    Wonderful article as usual AJ. I always learn something from you about our near neighbour. :)
     
    judy, kyratango, Any Jewelry and 2 others like this.
  7. Christmasjoy

    Christmasjoy Well-Known Member

    Wonderful indeed AJ .. What a learning opportunity there is on this forum, Thank You SO much, Joy.
     
  8. aaroncab

    aaroncab Well burnt ember.

    I'm quite sure I'd never seen a carving of Mohini/Vishnu of any kind for sale anywhere before yesterday - so it is very very odd that I found another(even nicer) one this evening(not the same store... I'll get pics up in the morning... :)
     
  9. aaroncab

    aaroncab Well burnt ember.

    I think this is also a representation of Mohini-Vishnu - although I'm not sure.(Seems to have many of the same attributes - although she's kneeling and holding what I think is the Amrita up to her cheek. Just very odd I stumbled upon this one the day after the first. Pics ... first the two of them together for size comparison. The smaller is 11" the larger is 16" (about 40cm). Very pretty wood pattern on the new find :).

    42625405834_acb308c06e_kdev.jpg 28473468467_1dab0f72ea_kdev.jpg 42625375944_95eabfbe45_kdev.jpg 28473484197_8b6cc1e309_kdev.jpg 43292853782_b983005c57_kdev.jpg 42438434535_d336e1e8be_kdev.jpg 42438385405_76b8c0eebd_kdev.jpg 43342375801_5e03a4b39e_kdev.jpg
     
  10. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Beautiful, aaron. And much better quality.
    It is not the same girl/man. It looks like she could be holding a lotus flower, which would make her Dewi Tara, so an actual Goddess in her own right, not an illusion of Vishnu.
     
  11. aaroncab

    aaroncab Well burnt ember.

    Aha! Thank you again! I knew there were some differences - but also many similarities - thank you for the correction and distinction. I'll do some more light reading on the Dewi :)
     
  12. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    The devil is in the detail with these divinities.:D
     
    judy, sch3gsd, Christmasjoy and 2 others like this.
  13. aaroncab

    aaroncab Well burnt ember.

    Definitely! I don't deny! :p

    One thing I noticed about both is their hair goes all the way down their back to their waist. Is this typical of the female divinity form - or the female form in general in Indonesian/Bali art?
     
  14. i need help

    i need help Well-Known Member

    2 Beautiful pieces, Aaron!
    And great information from AJ!
     
  15. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    Now that one is really nice !
    Gotta luv that wood !!!
     
    judy, Christmasjoy, aaroncab and 2 others like this.
  16. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Indonesian girls and women had very long hair, and some still do.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    That one is made by an artist, the first one by a craftsman.
     
  18. Christmasjoy

    Christmasjoy Well-Known Member

    They are beautiful !! .. I SO love that wood, Joy.
     
  19. rene Zen Bali

    rene Zen Bali Member

    Hi Any Jewelry,
    I am delighted to have found your forum.
    I live on Bali in a little village near Mas, where many Pita Maha artist lived, these talented artist come from a family line of artist, with many still following their parents lineage.
    I have been collecting art for well over 20 years and have acquired a large collection. My interest in collecting Pita Maha Art Deco pieces was recently ignited after visiting a Museum, I was fortunate to have met the great grand son of Ida Bagus Putu Taman who was a member of the Pita Maha group along with European artist Walter Spies and Rudolf Bonnet.
    I was shocked to see that he still had a masterpiece from his great grand Father,,,,, I asked if it was for sale and he said no,,,,,,anyway here is a picture.
     
  20. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Hi rene, I just saw your introduction and replied to it. I only read your post in this thread now. I am very happy to have another collector with us, so selamat datang!
    Is it the one in your avatar picture? It is beautiful, I love the very stylized haircurl.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
    judy, Christmasjoy and i need help like this.
Draft saved Draft deleted
Similar Threads: Bali goddess
Forum Title Date
Antique Discussion Balinese Woman Wood Bust Oct 26, 2018
Antique Discussion Bali Art Deco carving. Latest addition, it's a girl. Apr 24, 2018
Antique Discussion balinese puppet age please Nov 1, 2017
Antique Discussion Bali Art Deco wood carving. Crazy ashtray..... Aug 26, 2017
Antique Discussion 2 Balinese Carved Wood Figures Aug 10, 2017

Share This Page