India (Jammu and Kashmir, ancient kingdom of Kashmir) or Pakistan
Bone with traces of color and gold paint; H. 5 3/8 in. (13.7 cm)
Gift of The Kronos Collections, 1985 (1985.392.1)
Clearly the product of extraordinarily sophisticated and technically skilled workshops, eighth-century carved ivories from Kashmir are rare. Created from an approximately triangular section of bone, believed to be from an elephant, this remarkable piece testifies to the continuation of skills extending the tradition by at least a century. The object, with three scenes depicted on its sides, was probably part of a reliquary. The first two scenes show the miraculous birth of Siddhartha, later to become the Buddha, and his temptation as he meditated at Bodh Gaya immediately prior to becoming the Buddha. The third scene, clearly the focus of the carving, shows a rare representation of a crowned and jeweled Buddha seated cross-legged on a lion throne.