Ivory Throne Leg


Historical period(s)
Eastern Ganga dynasty, 13th century
H x W x D: 34.9 x 15.7 x 13.2 cm (13 3/4 x 6 3/16 x 5 3/16 in)
India, Orissa
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Furniture and Furnishing

Throne leg

Eastern Ganga dynasty (700 - 1299), elephant, India, lion

To 1907
Spink and Company, London, to 1907 [1]

From 1907 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Spink and Company in 1907 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Miscellaneous List, S.I. 933, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Spink & Co. (C.L. Freer source)


Since at least the second century, Indian sculptors created ivory thrones to proclaim royal command. On this splendidly carved throne leg, a gajasimha--a mythical creature combining the strength of an elephant (gaja) and a lion (simha)--calmly dispatches the demonic warrior dangling from its trunk. The sculptor contrasted the forceful curves and broad smooth surfaces of the elephant-lion with an intricately realized mountain landscape. Archers and wildlife gambol through its crags, while a hermit meditates and a lion slumbers.

Published References
  • Aschwin Lippe. The Freer Indian Sculptures. Oriental Studies Series, no. 8 Washington, 1970. pl. 41-47.
  • Ideals of Beauty: Asian and American Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Thames and Hudson World of Art London and Washington, 2010. pp. 104-105.
  • Raman Sukumar. The Story of Asia's Elephants. India. p. 163, fig. 6.35.
  • Capolavori nei secoli: Enciclopedia di tutte i popoli in tutti i tempi. 12 vols., Milan, 1961 - 1964. p. 194.
  • foreward by Pupul Jayakar. Festival of India in the United States, 1985-1986. New York. p. 62.
  • J.E. van Lohuizen-Leeuw. Indian ivories with special reference to a mediaeval throne leg from Orissa. vol. 6. pp. 195-216.
  • Stella Kramrisch. Early Indian Ivory Carving. vol. 54, no. 261. Philadelphia, Spring 1959. pp. 55-56, fig. 4-8.
  • George Frederick Kunz. Ivory and the Elephant in Art, in Archaeology, and in Science. Garden City, New York. p. 108.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum