Ganesh Figurine

A small brass elephant. He has multiple arms and things in his hands and is sitting cross legged on a square stand.
Ganesh from the Eldon House collection

Country of Origin: India
Year: ca. 1895
Materials: Brass 

This figurine of the Hindu god Ganesh was likely purchased by the Harris Family during one of their trips to the popular brass markets in India in 1897. Collecting religious iconography from world religions was popular, though many Western travelers would not have understood the significance of these icons, using them as pieces of décor or for curiosity rather than worship.

Ganesh is a popular figure in the Hindu religion and has several stories surrounding his birth. One is that his mother Parvati brought him to life, and he was meant to guard her privacy against the god Shiva. A struggle between Shiva and Ganesh results in him losing his human head, which Shiva replaces with the head of an elephant. Ganesh often carries a number of objects in his hand including a piece of one of his tusks, and sweets