- Museum number
Nāgadanta or stupa peg with a male protome. The face is primitively rendered with protruding, rounded, ringed eyes, prominent cheeks and depressions around the lips; the latter, like the moustache, are indicated by rounded ridges. The ears are prominent with large discs as earrings. The hair appears as straight incisions below a turban of linear execution, its band and folds meeting in a central area of damage from which fabric is drawn onto the top of the turban to form a small fantail crest. The thick neck is deeply ringed. The bare torso is modelled to show musculature and flesh at the nipples and above the girdle; and the lower garment, in slightly undulating vertical ridges for folds and a narrow gathering of cloth in the centre, runs into the acanthus below; a small globular pot hangs from the girdle on the figure's left. A scarf of the same linear execution runs from the right hip along the girdle, up to the left shoulder, and forms the early horizontal semi-loop seen on BM 1966.1017.2, BM 1949.0718.48 and BM 1900.0209.1. The collar and armlets are wide and flat with a hatched motif forming triangles enclosing a bead; the bracelets are beaded. The wings consist of coverts, like petals, emerging from the back (especially on the left), and flight feathers terraced and ending at the top in a volute. The volute of the peg, above the wings, joins the back of the turban and is grooved between its upper edges. The damaged arms lack hands; if they carried an offering, it and they must have been completely undercut, for the front of the figure is undamaged. The acanthus at the bottom has drooping lobes and its ribs echo the curved ridges of the drapery.
- Production date
Diameter: 26 centimetres (at tenon)
Height: 40 centimetres
Width: 12.20 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Zwalf 1996:
The use of pegs on stupas to hold up garlands is well attested on representations of stupas at Bharhut (Cunningham, 1879: pl. XII) or at Sanci (Marshall, 1960: fig. 5). The curved form with volute behind the male protome, to which the Sanskrit term for peg, nāgadanta (elephant's tooth or tusk), seems to be applicable, appears specific to Gandhāra and seems of limited distribution there in time and space. A stupa at Chatpat formerly showed such pegs in situ. See Foucher, 1905-51: I, figs 10, 12; Ingholt, 1957: 175 ad fig. 473; Marshall, 1960: 21-3 ('stupa-bracket').
- On display (G33/dc50b/s3)
- 1.Green schist, broken, chipped and with some cracks. Mica (chlorite) according to a kind communication from D. R. C. Kempe (Natural History Museum) of 1 July 1980. Marshall (1960: 23) calls the material talcose schist.
2.Roughly worked tenon; sides and bottom almost flat.
3.Back roughly worked with small shallow chisel grooves.
- Acquisition date
- Registration number