Late 15th century burmese glazed plaque  

Posted by ေရွးျမန္မာ in

Object - Plaque

Place of origin - Burma (made)
Date - late 15th century (made)
Artist - Unknown
Materials and Techniques - Glazed stoneware

Dimensions -

Height: 48 cm
Width: 35 cm
Depth: 14 cm

Current Location - Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Museum number- IS.2-1966

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.

Object history note - Gifted by Cyril Newman.

Historical context note

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.

Descriptive line

Tile Depicting the Warriors of Mara, Glazed stoneware, 15th century, Pegu, Burma.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

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.

Attribution Note

Possibly from the Shwegugyi temple, Pegu, Burma.

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