Gilded Kamadhenu

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Size: 30 x 13 x 34 inches with base
Material: Gilded Wood
Origin: Tamil Nadu


This is a rare, large, wooden gilded Kamadhenu from Tamil Nadu. "Kamadhenu", "Kamaduh", and "Kamaduha” means the cow "from whom all that is desired is drawn" - the cow of plenty. She is considered to grant her owner any wish. There are different stories as to Kamadhenu's birth, but one is that she emerged from the sea at the great churning of the cosmic ocean. Kamadhenu is generally depicted, as here, as a cow with a female head and torso, the wings of a bird, and with the tail of a peacock. What is particularly unusual about this stunning piece is she is shown carrying a musical instrument - the Veena. This is possibly a reference to the Kinnara, the celestial musicians who are felt to watch over the well-being of humans in times of trouble or danger. The wings, Veena, peacock tail, and head are carved from separate pieces that slot together to create this exquisite sculpture.