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Stoppered vessel - Ritual Vase

Ritual Vase

  • Object:

    Stoppered vessel

  • Date:

    18th century - 19th century (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ivory with silver-gilt, rock-crystal, turquoise and semi-precious stones.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage


18th century - 19th century (made)

Materials and Techniques

Ivory with silver-gilt, rock-crystal, turquoise and semi-precious stones.

Historical context note

The flowering vase, or vase of plenty (purnakalasa), is a recurrin motif in Indian art, featuring widely in the Bharut reliefs of the 2nd century B.C. The purnakalasa contained the spiritual essence of life, the amrta, which was evoked in rituals concerned with the prolonging of life. In later Buddhisnm this vase was associated with Amitayus, the Buddha of Eternal Life. This vase has been adapted from a piece of imported Mughal ivory, probably originally part of an item of furniture. The use of semi-precious stones in the form of the rock-crystal stupa suggest a Nepalese craftsman working for a Tibetan patron.

Descriptive line

Ivory with silver-gilt, rock-crystal, turqouise and semi-precious stones, India and Nepal, 18th-19th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

p. 87, cat. no. 38
Tibetan art / John Lowry. London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1973

Production Note

India and Nepal

Subjects depicted



IndScp_load; Buddhism; Religion


South & South East Asia Collection

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