Memory, Memento, and Sacred Bond

Votive Tablet

  • 81
  • India (Bihar) or Tibet
  • Ca. 1000
  • Bronze
  • H. 4 in. (10.1 cm)
  • The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland, Gift of John and Berthe Ford, 54.3075
  • Bodh Gaya
Find it on the Interactive Map

The manufacture of this votive tablet in bronze—rather than a more ephemeral material such as sun-dried clay—indicates the higher social status of its owner. Given their rarity, bronze tablets were probably produced in small quantities for elite patrons. Where this tablet was cast is uncertain because portable tablets (and molds) appealed to the pilgrimage economy, and artisan workshops at major pilgrimage centers may have adjusted their carving styles to international tastes. The tablet shows the Buddha in the gesture of calling the earth to witness. The Buddhist creed is inscribed on the perimeter of the tablet.

PHOTO CREDIT: © The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland

©2009 Asia Society 725 Park Avenue at 70th Street New York, NY 10021: