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intaglio / amulet

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1880.3603

  • Description

    Christian amulet (?) Oval, green heliotrope (bloodstone) intaglio with bevelled edges, depicting a mythical beast with the head of a donkey, body and wings of a bird, and four (?) legs; surrounded by potent and simple crosses and, upper left, three Greek letters ΛΡΗ or ΛΡΙ +.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 5thC-7thC (circa)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 15 millimetres
    • Width: 21 millimetres
    • Thickness: 4.5 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Greek
      • Inscription Position

        top left
      • Inscription Language

        Greek
      • Inscription Content

        ΛΡΙ or ΛΡΗ
      • Inscription Translation

        LRI or LRE
  • Curator's comments

    E. Errington: The Islamic equivalent is the Buraq, the winged horse/donkey/mule associated with Muhammad's isra' (night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and back) and with his ascent to Heaven. But the crosses and Greek letters suggest the image is Christian.

  • Bibliography

    • Errington 1999 p.228, pl.7.20 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1880

  • Acquisition notes

    Probably purchased by Masson in Kabul bazaar, 1833-8.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1880.3603

  • Additional IDs

    • IM.Gems.60 (British Museum no.: India Museum collection)
Oval bloodstone with bevelled edges engraved in outline with a grotesque with a hare's head, bird's body, four legs, two arms; stars and three Greek letters in the ground.

Oval bloodstone with bevelled edges engraved in outline with a grotesque with a hare's head, bird's body, four legs, two arms; stars and three Greek letters in the ground.

Image description

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Object reference number: RRI12195

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