These seven objects belonged to a large collection of brass images, ritual objects, implements, ornaments and toys which was formed by Major (later colonel) C. Eckford Luard in the former Central Indian Agency between 1900 and 1903. Luard served in this area for a number of years as Superintendent of Gazetteer and of Census Operations. He compiled the several volumes of Central Indian State Gazetteers (1907-12), as well as writing other works, including guide-books to Dhar and Mandu and the Dilwara temples at Mount Abu. In later life he lived at Boar’s Hill, Oxford, and part of his collection was presented to the Indian Institute’s museum by his widow in 1936 [see EAOS.108
]. Luard’s earlier article describing the collection in the Journal of Indian Art and Industry is still useful in the identification of regional types of such late brass objects, which are otherwise scantily documented.
Images of gods, as might be expected, formed the larger part of Luard’s collection. Some, like the figure of the Durgā killing the buffalo-demon [EAX.280
], adhere loosely to classical canons of iconography [see EAOS.64
], while others are in a more janglī (rustic) idiom, such as a seated group of Śiva and Pārvatī with a stylized Nandī at their feet [EAX.283