Hamsa Lamp Finial 04

(inclusive of taxes)

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Size (WxDxH): 12 x 6 x 21 inches
Medium: Brass
Origin: Andhra Pradesh


This is a large, elegant, Deccan cast brass Hamsa lamp finial from Andhra Pradesh. A finial is an element marking the top or end of some object. The Deccan style of this rare piece is evident in the combination of the abstraction of the Middle East with the plasticity of India. The bird is engraved with feathers on the body and tail. On the breast of the bird are engraved in Telugu the names “Reddy Shetty Ishwrayya”, his wife “Ishwrayya”, and “annamma” (a couple) “with devotion. Secunderabad.” The writing suggests this may have been a wedding heirloom from Hyderabad.
Birds (or Hamsas) like this were often used as decorative elements on the top of oil lamps and doubled as an oil container for the lamp. In this case an internal mechanism allowed the oil to pass, drop by drop, through a narrow, often faceted, spout on the breast of the bird into the bowl with the wicks beneath. This piece is particularly rare because of its large size. It is shipped with a finished stand.
Hamsa, which is possibly a swan or goose, is revered by Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains. It is seen as a symbol of purity, detachment and divine knowledge. Hamsa symbolizes the highest spiritual accomplishment, as it swims in water, walks on earth and flies in the sky.
The size of the piece is 12 x 5.2 x 16.7 inches without the stand. With the stand, it measures 12 x 6 x 21 inches.