Small Indian lamp inscribed 'Guru Nanja Veru'
The lamp (pictured above) has five cups or dishes for lighting oil, held up by a figure with a five-headed naga or serpant behind. The inscription reads: 'Guru Nanja Veru' in Kannada-Telugu script, a script used in southern India, particularly in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
In front of the five cups (pictured left) is a Makara guardian demon, seated with forelegs in centre and hind legs to the side. The name Guru Nanja Veru in this position on the lamp indicates that this lamp was reserved or particularly used for the aarti ceremony of this local Guru figure.
This small lamp, pictured right, (11.6cms tall and 10.4 cms long) is on display at Leeds Discovery Centre in a case promoting the larger Hinduism faith case in Voices of Asia at Leeds City Museum. There you can see a much larger lamp, in the shape of a shikara or Hindu temple dome, collected by Sir Stuart Mitford-Fraser around 1890-1914. The hanging leaves and Ganesha figures are typical of Nepalese Hindu craftsmanship.
Another bronze (pictured below) in the Hinduism display has an inscription we would love to have translated. A large ladle with a bell attached. This was also collected by Sir Stuart Mitford Fraser. The inscription is on the side of the bell
Can you help us translate the inscription on this bronze bell (above right)?
By World Cultures Curator Antonia Lovelace