Skip to content


An image of Reliquary box with lotus design by

Ancient Gandhara, Pakistan

Reliquary box with lotus design
Place of origin
Ancient GandharaPakistan
Kushan period mid 1st century - early 5th century → India
1st century
Media category
Materials used
schist, contents gold

a - base; 7.3 x 8.7 cm; [preserved inside box]

b - lid; 1.4 x 5.3 cm; [preserved inside box]

c - gold piece; [preserved inside box]

d - gold piece

e - gold piece

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Bequest of Alex Biancardi 2000
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

This rare box is in remarkable condition and still contains its precious relics, most likely because it was preserved inside a stupa. The contents are essentially intact and comprise the gold finial of a stupa (consisting of a square entablature, or 'harmika', and parasol), a small round gold box filled with tiny beads and rock dust, and a larger round copper box, the contents of which have been removed.

The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.28.

Bibliography (3)

Martin Lerner and Steven Kossak, The lotus transcendent: Indian and Southeast Asian art from the Samuel Eilenberg collection, 'The Lotus Transcendent, pg. 77, New York, 1991, 77. 43

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Buddhist Art', Sydney, 2003, 28 (colour illus.).

Pratapaditya Pal, Orientations, 'Sensuous Spirituality: Hindu and Buddhist Art from the Indic Cultural Realm', pg. 80-87, Hong Kong, Sep 2000, 83 (colour illus.). fig.5