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Pendant with Matsya (fish incarnation of Vishnu) defeating Hayagriva

Overall: 11.8 x 5.8 cm (4 5/8 x 2 5/16 in.)
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Location: not on view

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In Matsya’s upper hands he holds two of Vishnu’s implements: the mace and the lotus.


Three emeralds and many pearls surround the central part of this pendant, which features a scene from the life of Matsya at the center. The fish incarnation of the preserver god Vishnu, Matsya appears in the middle, defeating the demon Hayagriva, who emerges from a shell, grasping him by the hair. Encircling the battle are plants, flowers, and designs indicative of ocean waves. The four-headed god Brahma also watches from the left side. Below the main scene, two smaller teardrop-shaped ornaments hang down. They feature scenes of predator birds, which may allude to the courtly falcon hunts of rulers.
Pendant with Matsya (fish incarnation of Vishnu) defeating Hayagriva

Pendant with Matsya (fish incarnation of Vishnu) defeating Hayagriva


Northwestern India, Rajasthan Pratapgarh

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