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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.

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figure

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1872,0701.32

  • Description

    Figure of Viṣṇu, standing on a lotus, six-armed with only two remaining, holding club and discus; flanked by female attendants. Carved in grey chlorite and subsequently blackened.

  • Date

    • 11thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 167 centimetres
    • Width: 78 centimetres
    • Depth: 19 centimetres
    • Weight: 362.5 kilograms
  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2009 1 May-20 Sep, Victoria, Royal BC Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2009 11 Dec-2010 10 May, Madrid, Canal de Isabel II, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2012 18 Apr – 17 Jul, Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, ‘Treasures of the World’s Cultures’
    2012 Nov 30 - 2013 Apr 4, Bonn, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle, ‘Treasures of The World's Cultures’

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    6 February 2009

    Treatment proposal

    superficial clean. Some gallery paint on the return edges to be removed or toned in.

    Condition

    The sculpture is sound and stable. The piece has been coated in what appears to be a dark tinted wax. Surface dirt and dust has gathered over all of the carvings.

    Treatment details

    The piece was lightly cleaned using deionized water on cotton swabs.

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1872

  • Acquisition notes

    Purchased by John Bridge at the Stuart sale at Christie's in June, 1830. The collection was given to the British Museum in 1872 by Mrs John Bridge and his nieces, Miss Fanny Bridge and Mrs Edgar Baker, on the death that year of George Bridge, brother of John Bridge.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1872,0701.32

Figure of Vi??u, standing on a lotus, six-armed with only two remaining, holding club and discus; flanked by female attendants. Carved in grey chlorite and subsequently blackened.

Figure of Vi??u, standing on a lotus, six-armed with only two remaining, holding club and discus; flanked by female attendants. Carved in grey chlorite and subsequently blackened.

Image description

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Object reference number: RRI814

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