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Reliquary

Reliquary

  • Place of origin:

    Sri Lanka (made)

  • Date:

    307 BC - 267 BC (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Rock crystal, cut and polished using abrasives and abrasive-charged tools.

  • Museum number:

    IM.332-1920

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This reliquary, fashioned in rock crystal, is believed to have been found in the great Thuparama dagaba at Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka and is believed to date to 307-267 BC. It is carved in the form of a dagaba or stupa and it has a cylindrical cavity bored into the top within which a relic would have been stored, safely held within by a now-absent stopper that was carved as a six-tiered umbrella of the dagaba, and which rested on a small, cylindrical pedestal. It was part of a collection of Indian rock crystal objects that were offered for sale to the museum in 1920 by Captain Rupert Simson, who was following his late father's wishes

Physical description

A reliquary of squat, bullet-shaped form with a slightly triangular rounded cross-section. There are three circumferential grooves at the lower end, two wide and one is narrower. There is a wide, vertical, blind drill hole located centrally. Cut and polished from rock crystal.

Place of Origin

Sri Lanka (made)

Date

307 BC - 267 BC (made)

Materials and Techniques

Rock crystal, cut and polished using abrasives and abrasive-charged tools.

Dimensions

Height: 39.0 mm IM.332-1920, Length: 39.3 mm IM.332-1920, Width: 37.15 mm IM.332-1920, Diameter: 8.8 to 9.0 mm IM.332-1920, Depth: 25.0 mm IM.332-1920

Object history note

This rock crystal reliquary was stated to have been found in the great Thuparama dagaba at Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It was part of a collection of Indian rock crystal objects that were offered for sale to the museum in 1920 by Captain Rupert Simson, who was following his late father's wishes. The whole collection was bought for the sum of £550-0-0.

Descriptive line

Reliquary, rock crystal, rounded, carved and drilled, Sri Lanka, 307-267 BC, stopper absent

Materials

Quartz crystal

Categories

Containers; Gemstones; Hardstone; Religion

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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