12'' Lord Ayyappan | Madhuchista Vidhana (Lost-Wax) | Panchaloha Bronze from Swamimalai

$860


The ‘panchaloha’ bronze statue of ‘Hariharan Puthiran,’ or the son of Hari and Haran, Vishnu and Shiva – Lord Ayyappa, on first viewing seems simplistic, in the manner of depicting a meditating ascetic. It is however the skill and enchantment of the ‘sthapathi’ that a close examination of the sculpture allows us to witness unique details about the legend of the god in front of us.
Item Code: PHC175
Specifications:
Bronze
Height: 12 inch
Width: 5 inch
Depth: 9.5 inch
Weight: 7.30 kg
Handmade
Handmade
Free delivery
Free delivery
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
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More than 1M+ customers worldwide


The warrior god – whose life was brought to this world to defeat the demoness Mahishi – is said to have been raised by the royal couple Rajashekara Pandiyan and Koperundevi, and it was in their household that the Lord attained the righteous understanding of dharmic living and yogic penance. This dharmic living is captured in the yogic posture of the figure, seated with a ‘yoga pattam’ or yoga band tying both feet together. As Ayyappa is a ‘Yogeeshwara’ by nature, the patta helps in maintaining the ‘harivarasanam,’ or the posture of keeping both legs and the back firmly against the ground while having the spine erect at a right angle to the ground. The patta allows our supreme ‘brahmachari’ here to maintain this meditative posture with ease (a similar depiction of the ‘harivarasanam’ is seen in the Narasimha figure kept at the Cleveland Museum of Art). Another defining attribute of the image here is the right hand’s posture of ‘chinmudra,’ with the three raised fingers denoting the vanquishment of ‘ahankaram,’ ‘maya,’ and fulfilment of ‘karma.’ The joining of the index finger and the thumb is the symbolic union of the ‘atman’ and the ‘Brahman.’


It is in these fascinating symbolisms that we appreciate Ayyappan’s strict adherence to penance, celibacy, the path of dharmic righteousness, and yogic bhakti. The bronze image also details elaborate ‘malas’ around the Lord’s neck (today, his devotees, especially at Sabarimala, wear garlands to signify the start of their 41-day strict penance and devotion to attain entry into the temple). Raised on a high circular plinth, we also see an elaborate halo topped by a ‘kirtimukha.’

WHAT IS PANCHALOHA BRONZE AND HOW TO TAKE CARE OF IT ?

 

Bronze is a metal alloy that has the primary composition of Copper and Tin. There is also an addition of other metals such as Manganese, Aluminium, Nickel, and some non-metals such as Phosphorus. This composition of several metals and non-metals makes Bronze an extremely durable and strong metal alloy. It is for this reason that Bronze is extensively used for casting sculptures and statues. Since Bronze has a low melting point, it usually tends to fill in the finest details of a mould and when it cools down, it shrinks a little that makes it easier to separate from the mould.

" If you happen to have a bronze statue, simply use a cotton cloth with some coconut oil or any other natural oil to clean the statue. "

 

A village named Swamimalai in South India is especially known for exceptionally well-crafted Bronze icons of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The skilled artisans of this place use Panchaloha Bronze for casting the icons. Panchaloha Bronze is made of five metals; Copper, Zinc, Lead, and small quantities of Gold and Silver. Zinc gives a golden hue to the finished figure and Lead makes the alloy softer for the easy application of a chisel and hammer. The common technique for producing these statues and sculptures is the “Lost-wax” method. Because of the high durability of bronze sculptures and statues, less maintenance is required, and can still last up to many decades.

Exotic India takes great pride in its collection of hand-picked Panchaloha Statues. You will find the murtis of Gods (Krishna, Hanuman, Narasimha, Ganesha, Nataraja, and Kartikeya) and Goddesses (Saraswati, Lakshmi, Durga, and Parvati), and Buddha statues. You can also buy Ritual paraphernalia (Wicks lamp, Puja Kalash, Cymbals, and Puja Flag) on the website. All these statues and items have been made with a lot of care and attention, giving them a flawless finish. Their fine carving detail represents the rich tradition of India.


How are Bronze statues made?

Bronze statues and sculptures are known for their exquisite beauty and the divinity that they emit all around the space. Bronze is considered an excellent metal alloy, composed primarily of copper and tin. Many properties make it suitable for sculpting even the most intricate and complex structures. There was a period in history, known as the "Bronze Age", in which most sculptors preferred to work with Bronze as it was considered the hardest metal. Bronze is especially appreciated for its durability, ductility, and corrosion-resistance properties. India is especially known for its elegant workmanship of skills working with Bronze. The artisans of a town named Swamimalai in South India have been following a tradition of bronze murti making for ages. They use a special material known as Panchaloha bronze to make fascinating icons of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.

All of us are allured by the beauty of bronze statues and sculptures but there goes a tough hand in casting those masterpieces with little or no imperfections. Since it is an extremely elaborate process, a sculptor needs to be highly skilled in making bronze antiques. The most common technique for casting bronze sculptures that has been followed since ancient times is the “Lost-wax” process which involves many steps:

1. Clay model making

The making of a bronze statue or sculpture starts with preparing a full-sized clay (usually Plasticine) model of the sculpture. This allows the artist to have an idea about the overall shape and form of the desired sculpture before working with bronze, a much more expensive and difficult-to-work-with material.
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2. Mould making

Once the clay model is ready, a mould of the original sculpture is made. This is done by carefully covering the clay model with plaster strips. This step is carried out in such a way that no air bubbles are formed. It takes up to 24 hours for the plaster to dry. Once dried, the plaster is then gently removed from the clay model. The removal happens easily because the inner mould is usually made of materials such as polyurethane rubber or silicone.

3. Wax filling and removal

In this step, molten bronze or wax is poured or filled into the mould in such a way that it gets even into the finest details. The mould is then turned upside down and left to cool and harden. When the wax has hardened, it is removed from the mould.
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4. Chasing

Chasing is the process in which the artist refines the surface of the bronze statue using various tools to achieve fine details. This smoothens the surface and gives the statue a finished look. If some parts of the statue were moulded separately, they are now heated and attached.
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5. Applying a patina

Bronze sculptures are known for their unique look or sheen on the surface. This may take several years to achieve naturally. Applying patina to bronze sculptures is an important step to make them appear attractive.
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Working with clay, plaster mould, and molten wax can be messy and therefore sculptors wear old clothes and remain careful. The entire process of making a bronze statue takes several months to complete. Bronze sculptures last for many centuries because of the high durability of the material. Many centuries down the line, these sculptures continue to be appreciated for their majestic beauty.
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