The image shows a part of a shrine of terracotta figures dedicated to the Tamilian village deity Ayyanar, as reconstructed at the museum by the potters M. Rangaswami and R. Thangayya and their team.
According to Edgar Thurston (Castes and Tribes of Southern India, 1909), "horses made of clay, hollow, and painted red and other colours, are set up in the fields to drive away demons, or in thanksgiving for recovery from sickness or any piece of good luck. The villagers erect these horses of the popular deity Aiyyanar, the guardian deity of the fields, who is a renowned huntsman, and is believed .... (to visit)... the village at night, to mount the horses, and ride down the demons."
The image is that of Kamadhenu or wish-cow of the Hindu mythology who is believed to fulfill all wishes of the devotees. Such figures are offered at some Ayyanar Shrines.