Plaque thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
South-East Asia, Room 47a

Plaque

late 15th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Glazed stoneware
Brief Description
Tile Depicting the Warriors of Mara, Glazed stoneware, Pegu, Burma, late 15th century
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.
Dimensions
  • Height: 48cm
  • Width: 35cm
  • Depth: 14cm
Gallery Label
  • 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)
Credit line
Given by Mr. Cyril Newman
Object history
Gifted by Cyril Newman.
Historical context
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.
Production
Possibly from the Shwegugyi temple, Pegu, Burma.
Subject depicted
Summary
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.
Bibliographic Reference
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.
Collection
Accession Number
IS.2-1966

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record createdAugust 21, 2003
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