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Plaque

Plaque

  • Place of origin:

    Burma (made)

  • Date:

    late 15th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Glazed stoneware

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr. Cyril Newman

  • Museum number:

    IS.2-1966

  • Gallery location:

    South-East Asia, Room 47a, case 15

The pious king Dhammaceti (r.1472-1492) of Pegu built a series of temples to honour the life of the Buddha. The most distinguished was the temple complex of Shwegugyi, built in 1476. It was decorated with an extensive series of large-scale glazed tiles, many of which illustrated the demonic warriors of Mara's army, who were sent to disrupt the Buddha's meditation immediately prior to his Enlightenment. This tile, with owl-headed figures bearing swords, is typical of this series.

Physical description

Tile depicting the warriors of Mara. The pious king Dhammaceti (r.1472-92) of Pegu built a series of temples to honour the life of the Buddha. The most distinguished was the temple complex of Shwegugyi, built in 1476. It was decorated with an extensive series of large-scale glazed tiles, many of which illustrated the demonic warriors of Mara's army, sent to disrupt the Buddha's meditation immediately prior to his Enlightenment. This tile, with owl-headed figures bearing swords, is typical of this series.

Place of Origin

Burma (made)

Date

late 15th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Glazed stoneware

Dimensions

Height: 48 cm, Width: 35 cm, Depth: 14 cm

Object history note

Gifted by Cyril Newman.

Historical context note

An illustration of similar plaques is given in pl. 10 of "Note of a tour in Burma in March and April 1892" by Oertel, Rangoon, 1893. The caption states that they belong to the "Phayre Museum" (Rangoon) and that they are probably from Pegu.
A similar plaque is in the B.M. Both are illustrated in "Notes on Antiquities in Ramamadesa" by Sir Richard Camac Temple (in Indian Antiquary, 1893 Dec. Vol XII). From a series probably from the Shwegugyi Pagoda, Pegu and thus possibly, 15th century.
Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, has four more of this series, given by Richard Temple.

Descriptive line

Tile Depicting the Warriors of Mara, Glazed stoneware, Pegu, Burma, late 15th century

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

John Lowry " Burmese Art" Pl.21
B,M. Catalogue- Buddhism " Art and Faith"; 1985; pp 164; Pl.226.
John Guy " Ceramic Traditions of South East Asia" Singapore, Oxford University Press, 1989.

Labels and date

Tile Showing the Warriors of Mara
1470–1500
With its demonic owl-headed warriors bearing swords, this
tile is similar to the series decorating the temple complex
of Shwegugyi, built in 1476 by King Dhammaceti of Pegu. A
favourite theme of the tiles at Shwegugyi is the demonic
warriors of Mara’s army, who were sent to disrupt the Buddha’s
meditation just prior to his enlightenment.
Glazed stoneware
Burma (Pegu)
Possibly from the Shwegugyi temple
Given by Cyril Newman
Museum no. IS.2-1966 [14/06/2011]
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Production Note

Possibly from the Shwegugyi temple, Pegu, Burma.

Subjects depicted

Buddhist

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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