This is another exquisite object from Mr. Gill’s workshop. It depicts the central ceiling (karotaka) of the rangamandapa in the Nilakantha Mahadeva Temple at Sunak or Sonak near Patan in Gujarat. The temple is dated Vikram Samvat
1356 = 1299 ce. The square tray has a circular depression depicting the temple ceiling, with a richly ornamented padmashila of fine scrollwork and kirttimukha faces at the centre. Around it are 12 devatas standing in different postures, supported by vidyadharas. The rest of the tray and the two handles are covered with floral scrolls. The reverse has the workshop mark in Devanagari .Interestingly, below the circular depression of the tray is a double vase. It has a hole in one of its sides, perhaps to fill hot water to keep the food in the tray warm. The tray stands on four legs in the shape of elephants. Several of the objects produced in Mr. Gill’s workshop are faithful reproductions of early monuments. They show Gill’s interest in and study of monuments. Many of these monuments are now in mutilated condition, so objects from this workshop can help in their study. Gill’s workshop must have had a good number of artists – designers, mouldmakers, casters, etc. Unfortunately no information about this workshop has yet been found.
Sir D.J.Tata Collection.
Indian Decorative Art
Early 20th Century CE
34 x 42.2 cm (with handles)