Rondel with the Goddess Hariti

Date: ca. 1st century

Culture: Pakistan (ancient region of Gandhara)

Medium: Silver with gold foil

Dimensions: Diam. 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm)

Classification: Metalwork

Credit Line: Gift of Steven Kossak, The Kronos Collections, 1981

Accession Number: 1981.460.2

Description

The goddess Hariti is shown nursing a child and sitting on a throne flanked by lotuses and surmounted by auspicious geese (hamsa), the Buddha’s messengers. Stylistically this roundel can be related to first-century finds from the Taxila city of Sirkap, a dating that would make it one of the earliest known representations of Hariti. Buddhist texts tell us that Hariti originally stole and devoured children, but with the Buddha’s intervention she became their protector.

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