- Museum number
- Object: The Wardak Vase
Globular reliquary vase of copper alloy, with a narrow neck and everted rim. The vase has a low, flat ring-foot, a band of three grooves around the middle, two at the base of the neck, two inside the neck just below the rim and another on the everted and sloping rim. An inscription in Kharoshthi in four lines is dated in the Kushan year 51 in the reign of the Kushan king Huvishka (c. 150-191).
- Production date
- 178 (date given in inscription)
Diameter: 16.90 centimetres
Diameter: 9.70 centimetres
Height: 17.60 centimetres (at rim)
- Curator's comments
- E. Errington: Masson records that the relic deposit comprised 'a copper vessel with dotted Pehlevi [sic] inscription', which contained 'sundry relics' and '66 copper coins' (Masson MSS Eur. E161/VII, f. 27). The coins are identifiable from Masson's description of 'Indo-Scythic' coins and account of the finds in Wilson 1841, p.118 as Kushan coins of Wima Kadphises, Kanishka I and Huvishka, i.e. a similar combination of the same types as the 21 coins from Chahar Bagh Stupa 4 (see CM 1979,0215.21-41).
The reliquary and associated finds were excavated in 1836 (MSS Eur. E161/VII, f.27).They were dispatched from Kabul by Masson in October 1836, but only reached London in March 1839, too late for more than a brief note in Wilson 1841.
- Bibliographic references
Masson MSS Eur. E161/VII (f.27)
Wilson 1841 / Ariana Antiqua. A Descriptive Account of the Antiquities and Coins of Afghanistan (pp.117-18)
Pargiter 1911-1912 / The Inscription on the Wardak Vase (pp.210-211)
Konow 1929 / Kharoshţhī Inscriptions, with the exception of those of Aśoka (pp.165-70, pl.XXXIII)
Klimburg-Salter 1995 / Buddha in Indien, die frühindische Skulptur von König Aśoka bis zur Guptazeit. (no.122, pp.153, 265-6)
Zwalf 1996 / A Catalogue of the Gandhara Sculpture in the British Museum (no.680, p.356)
Errington & Cribb 1992 / The Crossroads of Asia [Cat. of an exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge] (no.170, pp.174-5)
Errington & Curtis 2007 / From Persepolis to the Punjab. Exploring ancient Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan (pp.130, 133, fig.114)
Jongeward, Errington, Salomon & Baums 2012 / Gandharan Buddhist Reliquaries (pp.156-8, 245-6, 288-9,no.345 fig.4.33.)
Falk 2008 / Another reliquary vase from Wardak and consecrating fire rites in Gandhara (pp.63-80.)
Errington 2017b / The Charles Masson Archive: British Library, British Museum and Other Documents Relating to the 1832–1838 Masson Collection from Afghanistan (p.109)
Errington 2017a / Charles Masson and the Buddhist Sites of Afghanistan: Explorations, Excavations, Collections 1832-1835 (p.203, p.204, fig.307.1, p.224)
- On display (G68/dc6/p2/no1)
- Exhibition history
2012- Apr-, London, BM, G68, Coins and Medals permanent gallery
1995, Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, "Buddha in India"
- 1. Copper alloy, slightly corroded. \n 2. Corrosion products visible mainly on inside of neck and on foot of vase outside. \n
3. On base, painted '5289'.
- Acquisition date
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 04.830 (South Kensington Museum no.)
Miscellaneous number: 5289 (India Museum no.)