- Museum number
Octagonal amulet box; made of gold and inset with stones.
The box has flat ends and pierced spherical knobs at each end, originally for suspension. The box has a detachable end inserted by means of a cylindrical sheet. Each end, also octagonal, has a beaded border and the eight faces and both ends are pierced to hold stones or, now, where not empty, show organic matter which may have held the stones. Along the octagonal body oval openings, all with garnets, alternate with openings pointed at one end and with two rounded projections or lobes at the other. These, but for one with a green stone of the same shape, reveal organic matter. Except for the face with the globular suspension lugs at each end, which has three, the remaining faces each have eight openings for stones. On both ends the openings are, in the centre, circular with a garnet and surrounded concentrically with heart-shaped openings, some empty and some with organic matter. This organic matter is a resin or a gum resin, perhaps used to pad the outer and inner gold sheets of which the box is made as well as to hold the stones. The green stone has been identified as a serpentine called Bowenite.
- Production date
Height: 4.60 centimetres (with lugs)
Width: 8 centimetres
Depth: 3 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Green stone noted missing 23 October 1995 MDW
Inside the object, otherwise empty, was preserved a small piece of paper now in the archive of the Department of Oriental Antiquities and inscribed in ink as follows: "Within this Relic Holder - found at the Ahin Posh Tope near Jellalabad were 2 gold Coins - and a small dark Substance - to me indistinguishable as to its character. But being found in the Relic Holder I am inclined to think that it was the real object for which the Case was made - I cannot suppose that the Coins were the object of presentation. - The Relic may have been worn by the person whose Ashes were in the Cell - that is perhaps the most probable theory - but if we suppose that at the Consecration of the Tope which Ceremony no doubt took place when the Relics were deposited - (see Mahawamso for consecration of Singhalese Tope or Dagoba) - and the coins were thrown in as Votive offerings - It is a possible theory that this Relic-holder may have been deposited on the Ashes with this motive, - I think that the first theory is the most likely.
Wm. Simpson. Jellalabad 17 Feb. 1879.
A bit broke off the Relic yesterday - both fragments are in the piece of paper".
The finds accompanying the amulet box consisted of what Simpson supposed were ashes, lying free, and twenty gold coins of Vima Kadphises, Kaniska, Huviska, the Roman emperors Domitian (AD 93-8) and Trajan (AD 98-117) and Hadrian's empress Julia Sabina (d. 137); the two contained in the box were of Vima and Kaniska. One of the coins was that now in the Museum with a standing Buddha and captioned BOAAO.
- On display (G33/dc51a/s1)
- Exhibition history
1996 21 Jan-14 Apr, Wien, Kunsthistorisches Museum, 'Weihrauch und Seide: Alte Kulturen an der Seidenstrasse'
2012 Nov 30 - 2013 Apr 4, Bonn, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle, ‘Treasures of The World's Cultures’
- 1.Gold sheet, set with garnets.
2.Box consists of gold sheets hammered and pierced to show stones' outer wall octagonal, inner wall cylindrical; seal at open end, rebated to accommodate suspension lug attached to removable end, is a thin gold sheet.
3.At fixed end, a pierced gold sheet over another with a beaded edge and containing stones; cover has another double layer of gold with a beaded edge containing stones and fits into holder by means of inserted cylindrical gold sheet.
4.Globular suspension lugs, which are soldered on, appear to be beaten around a pierced wooden core.
5.Outer surfaces show scratch marks as if from cleaning.
6.Many openings now contain decayed matter.
- Registration number