There was a big hue and cry about the Chola King bronze ” said ” to be Sri Raja Raja Chola during the 1000th year anniversary of the Tanjore Big temple.
We had done a detailed post on the same bronze and other portraits of Kings wherein we had approximated the size of the bronze based on this inscription
“14. One solid image of Periya-Perumal, having two sacred arms (and measuring) one mulam, four viral and a half in height from the feet to the hair.”
Lets take Mulam as approx 15 inches and 41/2 virals to mean half of a mulam - so totals up to 22.5 inches or 57 centimeters.
The bronze in the Sarabhai Museum is described by Sri. P. R. Srinivasan as ” The bronze representing a Chola King, height 74 cm “ in his book on Bronzes of South India ( P.R. Srinivasan (F.E. 1963, L.R. 1994))
Let us see the characteristics of this ” Chola” King once more
The Key here to the identity that is indeed a ruler is the “veerakazhal” or bravery anklet worn on the left leg.
Now, a year ago a reputed auction site listed this interesting bronze for auction with a base price of $ 60,000 to $80,000
A Large Bronze Figure of Chandikeshvara
SOUTH INDIA, CHOLA DYNASTY, 10TH/11TH CENTURY
It is interesting to compare the features of this ” Chandikeshvara” to the accepted bronzes in the Museums in Chennai and Tanjore.
If you noticed none of them have the anklet on.
Now let us see the ” chandikeshvara” bronze up close and compare to the “Chola” King.
No doubt this is definitely not Chandikeshwara but a Chola King.
The dimensions as per the auction house is :
247/8 in. (63.1 cm.) high
Which compares more favorably to the dimensions in the Big temple inscriptions
There is no mention of any dates and specific in the Provenance:
PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN COLLECTION
So is this the bronze of the Great Emperor that we should have brought back to the Tanjore Temple ? Sadly he sold below the list price for $ 58,750.