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 & Son Ltd., London, to 1907 [1]

From 1907 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Spink & Son Ltd. 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)

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


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.
  • Dr. Stella Kramrisch. Early Indian Ivory Carving. vol. 54, no. 261. Philadelphia, Spring 1959. pp. 55-56, fig. 4-8.
  • foreward by Pupul Jayakar. Festival of India in the United States, 1985-1986. New York. p. 62.
  • 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.
  • George Frederick Kunz. Ivory and the Elephant in Art, in Archaeology, and in Science. Garden City, New York. p. 108.
  • 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.
  • J.E. van Lohuizen-Leeuw. Indian ivories with special reference to a mediaeval throne leg from Orissa. vol. 6. pp. 195-216.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum