Country Of Original: India (Gandhara)
Year: 2TH/3TH Century CE
Material: Grey Schist
Dimensions: 12W x 12D x 5.5H (cm)
Provenence: Hiruma Collection, Japan, before 1986. Sold in Christie’s Indian & . Southeast Asian Art, New York, 12 September 2012, Sale 2578 as lot 525 to BTRTM.
Description: This is a remarkable specimen of a flattened short cylindrical Gandhara reliquary with elaborate incised markings. It might have served a religious function as a primary container for relics. The opening of the wheel-turned reliquary has been flanged from the inside to accommodate the lid. The knobless lid features concentric circles in the middle enclosed by a rosette of nine stylised lotus petals demarcated by chevrons.
Its body displays an upper tier of horizontally placed lotus petal patterns interspersed with striped and plain thin columns. A lower tier features a band of upright lotus petals with separates the body from its tapered unembellished broadened base.
Stylistically closest to this reliquary is one from Butkara I currently in the Swat Museum (see Jongeward , 69, fig 3.21d) and two sold in a group of reliquaries at Christie’s (Indian and Southeast Asian Art, New York , 23 March 2010, Sale 2300, Lot 115).
T. Kuno, Gandhara Art, 1986, pl. no. 56.
Brown, Robert L. 2006. “The Nature and Use of the Bodily Relics of the Buddha in Gandhara”.
In Gandharan Buddhism: Archaeology, Art, Texts, edited by Pia Brancaccio and Kurt A Behrendt, 183-209. Vancouver: UBC Press. Jongeward, David, Elizabeth , Errington ,Richard Salomon and Stefan Baums. 2012. Gandharan
Buddhist Reliquaries. Seattle: Early Buddhist Manuscripts Project.
Willis, Micheal . 2000. Buddhist Reliquaries from Ancient India . London: British Museum Press.