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stair-riser

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1880.31

  • Description

    Stair-riser length showing musicians, drinkers and dancers. The first twelve figures, now headless, are read from right to left. A woman (1) frontal in a long tunic under a shorter one perhaps holds a drinking cup; a male (2) in a knee-length tunic turned sideways and joining his hands [in a dance gesture like (8)] faces (3), a woman in a draped garment over a long tunic and holding a barrel drum. A male (4), in a knee-length tunic, turns towards (5), a woman, probably like (1), who holds a drinking vessel and raises an arm towards (4); a portly woman (6) standing frontally, seems dressed like (3), while another woman (7) repeats (5) for dress and the vessel she holds. The male dancer (8) repeats (2) but has boots; he faces (9), a woman with a pipe or shawm dressed like (3) except that her draped overgarment covers both legs. A woman (10) stands almost frontally like (6) but girt below the breasts and holds a kantharos and a lotus at shoulder level while, beyond, a male (12) in a long overgarment plunging across the legs embraces (11), a woman dressed like (1) and (5), while (13), a damaged woman beyond, with vestiges of a head, reaches out one hand with a bracelet to remove his garment. The next six figures are: (14), a woman with a barrel drum and dressed like (1), (5), (7) and (10); (15), a musician, dressed like (3), his instrument a narrow harp with diagonal strings; a woman piper (16) dressed like (3); and another, (17), carrying a kantharos, dressed like (10) and facing (16); a booted male (18), like (8), seen in profile, dancing with joined hands, while the woman (19) beyond is playing the same type of instrument as (15) and is dressed like (17).

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  • School/style

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 2ndC-3rdC
  • Production place

    • Made in: Gandhara term details
    • (Asia,South Asia,Pakistan,North West Frontier Province,Peshawar,Gandhara)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 18 centimetres
    • Width: 101.6 centimetres
    • Diameter: 5.6 centimetres (as visible)
  • Curator's comments

    Zwalf 1996:
    The damaged horizontal framing elements are those of BM 1880.54. According to the summary "List of sculptures from Yusufzai" (Cunningham) supplemented by an early photograph (Burgess, 1897), this length, together with BM 1880.37 on the left, formed the sixteenth riser on the stair to the main stupa at Jamalgarhi.

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  • Bibliography

    • Zwalf 1996 330 bibliographic details
  • Condition

    1.Grey schist, broken, chipped, exfoliated and rejoined. 2.Probably four pieces (see Burgess, 1897: pl. 151) rejoined. 3.Top completed in plaster and, where preserved, flat and smooth; sides, as visible, straight; bottom on left flat and smooth and incised 'J' and '2'; bottom on right with chisel grooves and incised 'J' and '16'. 4.Back, as visible, of irregular depth and set in plaster against a slate back secured by pins. 5.Red-painted '16' on left of plinth.

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    From the Archaeological Survey of India, according to an old British Museum label, which refers also to Jamalgarhi.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1880.31

Stair riser relief. Musicians and dancers. Made of stone (schist).

Stair riser relief. Musicians and dancers. Made of stone (schist).

Image description

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Object reference number: RRI1313

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