Tregeagle Fine Art
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Large Carved Wood Kondapalli Model
Elephant with a Mahout, Howdah and Two Passengers
Polychrome painted Tella Poniki softwood
Measures: 34.3 cm high
Unmarked but possibly by the Satyanarayana family of Kondapalli toy makers.
The Indian artisans who make these toys are known as ‘Aryakshatriyas’. It is said that these craftsmen migrated from Rajasthan to Kondapalli in the 16th century bringing with them the art of crafting toys. This 400-year-old tradition has passed from generation to generation with every member taking part in the activity of toy-making in ‘Toy Colony’ of Kondapalli. There is also reference to this group of people in the “Brahmanda Purana”. This community claims its origin to Muktharishi, who is said to have been endowed with skills in arts and crafts by Lord Shiva himself. A special light softwood locally known as Tella Poniki is used to make the carvings. The colours used for decorating the toys are derived from natural sources.
Wear consistent with age and use. Scratches and paint chips. Losses to the papers decals of the howdah. The mahout is missing the bottom half of his right arm. Loss towards the end of the elephant's tail.