177. A Green Phyllite Cosmetic Bottle

Gandhara, 5th century AD
Size: 7.5 cm high

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Four long-necked geese hold up a lotus throne capital with their beaks. The imagery is Buddhist; the goose was considered a solar creature representing holy souls, featuring often in sculpture and poetry during the Mauryan and Kushan periods. The quality of this cosmetic bottle suggests it was made in one of the Buddhist courts of Central Asia.

Published: O. Bopearachchi, C. Landes, C. Sachs, De l’Indus à l’Oxus. Archéologie de l’Asie Centrale, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Montpellier, 2003, no. 315.

Provenance: Private collection, UK