Originally a funeral mound, constructed either to commemorate a great person or to house his relics, the stupa is the quintessential symbol of the Buddha. While architectural stupas serve as places of worship, smaller ones are used as reliquaries and votive offerings.The veneration accorded a reliquary stupa is determined by its size, rarity and preciousness of the materials from which it is made, such as gold, rock crystal, or silver. This stupa contains a reliquary containing a small gold stupa inside it. The whole ensemble would have been placed within at least one other case, perhaps of stone, before being placed at the base of an architectural stupa.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, September 2013.
1st century-3rd century
crystal, gold, copper and pearls
Shown in 2 exhibitions
The provenance of this work is under review and records will be updated as new details become available. The Gallery welcomes any information. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Private Collection, 2007, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, family heirloom of several decades
Referenced in 2 publications
Jackie Menzies, Look, 'The Stupa', pg.27, Sydney, Mar 2008, 27 (colour illus.).
Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2007-08, Sydney, 2008, 18 (colour illus.).