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Folk Art (Bastar) Antelope (IBS288)


The Bastar region of Western India has it's own specific style when it comes to iconography. It is unique to the region and is predominately what we term as 'folk art'. The main section of the piece is moulded in wax and then detail is added using beads and strands of wax. This gives the unique style of Bastar lost wax casting. Often these castings can be quite crude, especially today, however, in the past it was an art form in itself and some beautiful examples were made. This Antelope is definitely one of those excellent examples. It is beautifully formed and true to the anatomy of the subject. Simply looking at it, with it's curves and straight lines, makes one image it could easily be running and prouncing in it's native land.

The antelope stands upon 2 rods with curved up end punctured with holes. This almost certainly means that it was originally made as a temple toy for the amusement of the God. As the antelope is synonymous with Lord Shiva, it was no doubt part of a Shaivite swing, along with other animals and devotees. Considering it's age it is in near perfect condition with no damage and a wonderful patina.

We have never been lucky enough to come across a piece like this before, although we have seen images in books. It really is a lovely piece of Indian folk art and good pieces are rarely come by. Take a moment to look at the head, the horns and the detail to the body. It is beautiful without doubt. The fact that there is no damage makes it all the more special. We are 100% confident that is a genuine piece of Indian Folk art which for an 18th century piece is rare indeed.


Bastar (W. India)
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