Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Standing Buddha. A figure of the Buddha, carved in black schist, standing on a lotus base; the proper right hand is in varadamudrā; the whole is surrounded by a flaming halo. To the proper left of the Buddha is a kneeling figure of Maitreya (the Buddha of the future, worshipping his predecessor). Inscribed.


  • School/style

  • Date

    • 7thC-8thC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 70 centimetres
    • Width: 37 centimetres
    • Thickness: 14 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Position

        on upper surface and the front of the lotus base
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Comment

        The inscriptions are a personal dedication and the Buddhist creed. According to the Rajendra Lala publication the Creed is carved on the back of both the stone Buddha figures from the site. In fact the reverse of the BM piece is quite plain.
  • Bibliography

    • Zwalf 1985 139 bibliographic details
    • Uhlig 1979 39 bibliographic details
    • Harris 1864 pl. 1, p. 4 bibliographic details
    • Zwalf 1982 pp. 7-12 bibliographic details
    • Cunningham 1882 pp.24-31 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history


    1985: Buddhism: Art and Faith (in-house exhibition, British Museum).
    2005-06: Included in UK regional tour of the Radiant Buddha: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery; Bradford, Cartwright Hall Art Gallery; Leicester, New Walk Museum; Exeter, Royal Albert Memorial Museum (the latter closing 14 Apr 2006).

  • Condition

    The hands of the kneeling figure and anything they might have been carrying or their general posture have been broken away.

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    A letter from Bernard Mason (dated 13 March 1983) to Wladimir Zwalf contained a photograph of the BM Sultanganj Buddha with the following inscription on its reverse: "Bought from Mr Allen, Antique Dealer [q.v.] in 1933, Moseley Road, Balsall Heath; later moved to 6 Colonnade Passage off New Street, B'ham.(from G Bernard Mason, 33 Northlands Road, Moseley, Birmingham 13)". Mr Mason may have been the last owner of the Buddha (apart from the dealer) before its sale to the British Museum.

  • Department


  • Registration number


COMPASS Title: Sculpture of Buddha with kneeling Maitreya


COMPASS Title: Sculpture of Buddha with kneeling Maitreya

Image description



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Object reference number: RRI10927

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