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.
Kushan period mid 1st century - early 5th century
schist, contents gold
a - base, 7.3 x 8.7 cm
b - lid, 1.4 x 5.3 cm
c - gold piece, [preserved inside box]
d - gold piece, [preserved inside box]
e - gold piece, [preserved inside box]
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Bequest of Alex Biancardi 2000
Not on display
Shown in 1 exhibition
Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019
Referenced in 3 publications
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. cat.no. 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