This is an image of a lamp in a shape of a Garuda. He in his anthropomorphic form is kneeling on an inverted bell shaped pedestal. He is shown with folded hands and his outstretched wings are in the shape of lotus with its central part extending like elephant trunk. He is adorned with flowery earrings along with his armlets and a tiara like crown. The figure is topped by a cylindrical lamp. There is a snake hood to his left side, on the pedestal.
The practice of using animal and bird figures for lamps and other ritual objects is common in India. This is probably because the vahana which is favourite of a particular deity is a suitable medium as offering to the god. The Garudadipa is one of the 16 lamp types (Shodashadipa Lakshana) mentioned in the Shilpashastras.
The collection of Indian bronzes from different parts of India has been collected over 50 years ago by Dr. Ernst Mischa Jucker and Angela Jucker. The Swiss couple who lived in Ettingen outside Basel began collecting Indian folk art and cloth paintings in early 1960s.
Dr. Jucker was a leading research chemist and top manager of Sandoz, a predecessor company of Novartis visited Orissa for a Science conference in 1959 where he met the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and spoke about Indian culture, art and religion. Fascinated with the information Dr. Jucker heard from Panditji, he visited few antique shops hoping to find objects linked with the Indian tribal and rural people.
Dr. Jucker entrusted the collection to Dr. Daniel Vasella of Novartis, hoping that it would find its way back into a museum in India. Dr. Vasella through Ranjit Shahani, Country President, Novartis India gifted the collection of 850 bronzes to the museum in the year 2012.
Angela and Ernst Mischa Jucker Collection.
19th Century CE