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Light of India by Warren Dotz, Awesome Indian Matchbox Art


'Light of India, A Conflagration of Indian Matchbox Art' by Warren Dotz (2007), has more than 300 vintage matchbox labels from India, some of them dating back to the turn of the century.

I was browsing through a preview of this colorful book at Google book
and here are some of the images that I liked:




I was particularly fascinated by this image of 'Flying Rani'. The book lists it as Kamdhenu or the divine 'Wish fulfilling  Cow'.

I was fascinated because the iconography of this seemingly Hindu image is quite similar to the South-Asian iconography of Burraq, celestial horse-like creature of Muslim lore that carried Prophet Muhammad to paradise. While one has the body of a flying cow and other has the body of a flying horse, both have the face of a beautiful woman.

Image of Burraq(right) via: alif-india.com

About the image used in the cover of the book: the scene probably depicts the Vaishnav tale about the tug of war between elephant Gajendra and crocodile Huhu in which the elephant was later saved by Vishnu.
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You can checkout some more images from this book at Hero Design Studio

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