What just happened?

To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by

Searching...

gable

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1917,1009.5

  • Description

    Middle section of a false gable assemblage showing the Bodhisattva in his palace with his wife and musicians. In the central scene Siddhārtha half-reclines on a couch, wearing a high crested turban, an uttarīya in the narrow mode, earrings, a collar and a necklace over his right shoulder. He holds an indeterminate object (lotus) to his head in one hand and a wreath in the other. Seated beside him, his wife, her feet on a footstool, wears a wreath headdress with a loop of hair, earrings, collar and necklace, bracelets, anklets and a tunic with an overgarment draped over her left shoulder. She holds a bunch of lotuses at shoulder level. Their couch has a mattress, pillow, turned legs and a pendent cloth in between gathered at the side(s); above them (compare BM1900.0522.1) may be a damaged wreath. A flanking dancing girl in sleeved tunic and paridhāna worn tight round the legs raises her right leg and arm, and opposite a similar seated female, her right arm raised and undercut, is about to strike an upright banded barrel drum while her left hand strikes another on its side. In the balconies above very worn half-length female figures face each other, two holding flowers at shoulder level.
    The couple are under a trapezoidal roof supported on slender Corinthian columns with the usual base mouldings; at the sides are similar half-columns, and all the columns have bracket capitals with sawtooth enrichment but only one bracket arm; the sawtooth motif is repeated beneath the balconies and on the fascia of the roof. One balcony has a floral diaper, the other has an open-work triangle motif. At the bottom is a torus with a twisted garland enrichment of beaded and plain bands, above is a sawtooth cornice and on either side a vertical open-work chequerboard register.
    Each side compartment contains a standing figure with crested turban, collar, uttarīya, variously worn, and paridhāna, turned towards the central scene with flowers in both hands, while another ornamented figure, damaged on one side, with chignon and draped in an uttarīya, kneels inwards with hands joined. Framing bands, a sawtooth enrichment, a vine-leaf scroll and a band of centrally grooved lotus petals run under a large curved border with sawtooth enrichment and, at the bottom, a volute in the form of a beaked bird's (parrot's) head with feathered neck.

    More 

  • 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: 22.9 centimetres
    • Width: 78 centimetres
    • Diameter: 7.9 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Zwalf 1996:
    The tradition of the Bodhisattva's luxurious life and palaces is a feature of canonical and other texts and descriptions may be found in connection with the marriage or among events, such as the Four Encounters, leading up to the Renunciation. The Saṃghabhedavastu tells of a night of women's music-making and of the conception of Rāhula followed immediately by the Bodhisattva's revulsion among the women.

    Representations of palace life can agree with the composition of the Renunciation scenes as here and may imply an intentional contrast as well as closeness in time: thus the Bodhisattva lies on a bed with his wife seated on it while female musicians sit and lie around them; or the Bodhisattva and his wife are seated on the couch side by side. A different tradition may be present in a Bodhisattva shown impervious to distraction. A notable feature of palace scenes is their occurrence, as presumably here, on uprights or false gable panels where they can be followed in a downward vertical sequence by a Great Renunciation and then a Great Departure.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Zwalf 1996 170 bibliographic details
  • Condition

    1.Grey schist, broken, cracked and exfoliated. 2.Top, bottom and right side flat and smooth with some damage; mason's lines, particularly marking centre top and bottom. 3.Left side irregularly broken. 4.Pinhole from front to back.

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated events

    • Associated Event: Life of the Buddha
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1917

  • Acquisition notes

    Formerly in the Hope Collection. This piece was part of lot 162 at Christie's sale of Hope heirlooms on 23-4 July 1917.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1917,1009.5

Middle section of a false gable assemblage showing the Bodhisattva in his palace with his wife and musicians. In the central scene Siddhartha half-reclines on a couch, wearing a high crested turban, an uttariya in the narrow mode, earrings, a collar and a necklace over his right shoulder. He holds an indeterminate object (lotus) to his head in one hand and a wreath in the other. Seated beside him, his wife, her feet on a footstool, wears a wreath headdress with a loop of hair, earrings, collar and necklace, bracelets, anklets and a tunic with an overgarment draped over her left shoulder. She holds a bunch of lotuses at shoulder level. Their couch has a mattress, pillow, turned legs and a pendent cloth in between gathered at the side(s); above them (compare BM1900.0522.1) may be a damaged wreath. A flanking dancing girl in sleeved tunic and paridhana worn tight round the legs raises her right leg and arm, and opposite a similar seated female, her right arm raised and undercut, is about to strike an upright banded barrel drum while her left hand strikes another on its side. In the balconies above very worn half-length female figures face each other, two holding flowers at shoulder level.
The couple are under a trapezoidal roof supported on slender Corinthian columns with the usual base mouldings; at the sides are similar half-columns, and all the columns have bracket capitals with sawtooth enrichment but only one bracket arm; the sawtooth motif is repeated beneath the balconies and on the fascia of the roof. One balcony has a floral diaper, the other has an open-work triangle motif. At the bottom is a torus with a twisted garland enrichment of beaded and plain bands, above is a sawtooth cornice and on either side a vertical open-work chequerboard register.
Each side compartment contains a standing figure with crested turban, collar, uttariya, variously worn, and paridhana, turned towards the central scene with flowers in both hands, while another ornamented figure, damaged on one side, with chignon and draped in an uttariya, kneels inwards with hands joined. Framing bands, a sawtooth enrichment, a vine-leaf scroll and a band of centrally grooved lotus petals run under a large curved border with sawtooth enrichment and, at the bottom, a volute in the form of a beaked bird's (parrot's) head with feathered neck.

Middle section of a false gable assemblage showing the Bodhisattva in his palace with his wife and musicians. In the central scene Siddhartha half-reclines on a couch, wearing a high crested turban, an uttariya in the narrow mode, earrings, a collar and a necklace over his right shoulder. He holds an indeterminate object (lotus) to his head in one hand and a wreath in the other. Seated beside him, his wife, her feet on a footstool, wears a wreath headdress with a loop of hair, earrings, collar and necklace, bracelets, anklets and a tunic with an overgarment draped over her left shoulder. She holds a bunch of lotuses at shoulder level. Their couch has a mattress, pillow, turned legs and a pendent cloth in between gathered at the side(s); above them (compare BM1900.0522.1) may be a damaged wreath. A flanking dancing girl in sleeved tunic and paridhana worn tight round the legs raises her right leg and arm, and opposite a similar seated female, her right arm raised and undercut, is about to strike an upright banded barrel drum while her left hand strikes another on its side. In the balconies above very worn half-length female figures face each other, two holding flowers at shoulder level. The couple are under a trapezoidal roof supported on slender Corinthian columns with the usual base mouldings; at the sides are similar half-columns, and all the columns have bracket capitals with sawtooth enrichment but only one bracket arm; the sawtooth motif is repeated beneath the balconies and on the fascia of the roof. One balcony has a floral diaper, the other has an open-work triangle motif. At the bottom is a torus with a twisted garland enrichment of beaded and plain bands, above is a sawtooth cornice and on either side a vertical open-work chequerboard register. Each side compartment contains a standing figure with crested turban, collar, uttariya, variously worn, and paridhana, turned towards the central scene with flowers in both hands, while another ornamented figure, damaged on one side, with chignon and draped in an uttariya, kneels inwards with hands joined. Framing bands, a sawtooth enrichment, a vine-leaf scroll and a band of centrally grooved lotus petals run under a large curved border with sawtooth enrichment and, at the bottom, a volute in the form of a beaked bird's (parrot's) head with feathered neck.

Image description

Recommend


Feedback

If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: RRI6691

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 

Supporters

Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help  

Loading...