- Museum number
- Object: panel
Railing coping (uṣṇīṣa) fragment carved in limestone. Decorated on the outer face with a young man carrying a large garland emerging from the mouth of a makara, and seated male figures on either side. The inner face is now lost.
- Production date
Height: 55 centimetres
Width: 75 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Blurton, 1997:
This sculpted panel is part of the railing which ran around the stūpa. It comes, however, from the uppermost part, the coping stone from the top of the railing; its great weight holding in place the upright beams with their connecting cross-beams. The decorative scheme needed for a continuous coping stone was ideally resolved by the Amarāvatī sculptors in their use, on the outer face, of a repeating device of running youths carrying undulating garlands; one is seen in this example. The history of this motif is an intriguing one as it was certainly used for a considerable period at Amarāvatī (this is not the earliest example) and yet it is also well-known in the provincial sculpture of the Roman empire, reaching even the sculpture of Gandhāra, to the far northwest of the subcontinent. The precise mechanics of transfer are unknown, but it is nevertheless an important feature as it emphasizes the role of trade between the Roman world of the eastern Mediterranean in the early centuries AD and coastal India.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
On loan to the National Museum of India at New Delhi.
1997 13 Oct-1998 5 Jan, India, New Delhi, National Museum, The Enduring Image
1998 9 Feb-3 May, India, Mumbai, Sir Caswasjee Jahangir Hall, The Enduring Image
- This is a heavily damaged and abraded fragment. The inner face is lost.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Acquired as the result of the abolition in 1879 of the India Museum (Exhibition Road, London) and the partition of its contents between the British Museum and The South Kensington Museum (Victoria and Albert Museum).
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: Elliot no 110
Miscellaneous number: IM 1876 no 55a