- Upper Asian gallery
- Further information
The stupa is the quintessential symbol of the Buddha. Originally a funeral mound, constructed either to commemorate a great person or to house his relics, the stupa became synonymous with the Buddha after he instructed his disciples to erect one for his remains. While architectural ones serve as places of worship, smaller ones are used as reliquaries and votive offerings. There was a tradition of making votive stupas of precious materials: gold, rock crystal, silver, especially for personal shrines.The veneration accorded a reliquary stupa is determined by its size, rarity and preciousness of the materials from which it is made. This particular example is truly amazing. Like many stupas, it contains a reliquary containing a small gold stupa inside it and, furthermore, would have itself 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, August 2007.
- Place of origin
- India: Kushan period mid 1st century–early 5th century
- 1st century-3rd century
- crystal, gold, copper and pearls
- 28.0cm high
- Purchased 2007
- Accession number