Objects Reminding China And South Asia In The British Museum

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The longest gallery in the British Museum is the Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia. It underwent a renovation and was opened to the public recently. It displays the art works from China and South Asia, even the contemporary ones. At present even the paintings and textiles are used which shows the rich cultural and religious diversity of these places. Here is a list of some of the things displayed in this 115m long gallery in the British Museum.

Bronze Bell

These are the bells made out of bronze and is known as bo in the Chinese texts. They were the bells used along with others to make music in the court sessions and also during the rituals. The Chinese bells are all made with an elliptical section and some of them are made such that they produce two notes when struck at a particular point. This bo bell was made in the present day Shanxi province in 600-400 BC.

The Goddess Saraswati

Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge and is worshipped by the Hindus and the Jains. This sculpture is from a Jain temple which is located in Rajasthan. She is mounted on a goose. Her left hand has a palm-leaf manuscript and a rosary, whereas her right hand is broken which is believed to have held a musical instrument and a lotus.

Carved Lacquer Ewers

These red lacquer jugs were used in Tibet to serve butter tea. It was commissioned by the Qing dynasty court. These vessels in their tubular form, is made of copper and wood, in Tibet.

Lacquer Box

The 16th century inlaid lacquer is exemplified by this box. The availability of the woodblock prints of designs made this kind of pictorial designs so famous. The scene on the box shows some scholars in their long robes and caps along with attendants around them enjoying some recreational activities.

Stamp Seal

This seal was found in the Harappa region of Pakistan in the 1850s and is considered as an important reminiscent of the Indus Valley Civilization. The stamp seal has a bull carved on it along with the inscription. It is believed that such seals were used for trade and administration purposes. The script still remains decoded.

Poetic Installation

This is a contemporary installation in the museum made by Naeem Mohaiemen. The postage stamps with the picture of the Muslim revolutionary poet Kazi Nazrul Islam is the highlight. He is remembered in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Make sure you don’t miss seeing these in your British Museum tours.

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