Barakat Gallery
Login | Register | User Services | Search | Newsletter Sign-up
Barakat Gallery
HOME : Asian Art : Masterpieces of Asian Art : Gold Pyxis
Click to view original image.
Gold Pyxis - PF.5516
Origin: Afghanistan/Pakistan
Circa: 200 BC to 200 AD
Dimensions: 3.125" (7.9cm) high
Catalogue: V29
Collection: Asian
Style: Late Bactrian/Early Gandhara
Medium: Gold

Location: United States
Currency Converter
Place On Hold
Ask a Question
Email to a Friend
Previous Item
Next Item
Photo Gallery
Click photo to change image.
Print image
Click photo to change image.
Print image
Click photo to change image.
Print image
Click photo to change image.
Print image
In 1979, a Soviet team of archaeologists excavated a burial mound in northern Afghanistan named by locals, Tillya Tepe, or the Hill of Gold. Much to their amazement, they unearthed a find composed of more than twenty-one thousand gold treasures. This find represents one of the most important artistic legacies of the Bactrian Kingdom, a Hellenic civilization founded in the wake of Alexander the Great’s conquest that merged Greek culture with Indian and Siberian influences. The Bactrians flourished here for over a hundred year until they were eventually pushed out. As the kingdom dissolved, many talented artists and craftsmen trained in the Classical vocabulary migrated to the emerging culture of Gandhara where they created the first images of the Buddha as a human that seem to echo in their form and style the finest sculptures of Apollo. It is one of these same artists that likely crafted this gorgeous gold pyxis.

A pyxis is a small container used for holding medicines or perfumes. This is a brilliant example of the sumptuous elegance of ancient objects. It is difficult to imagine putting anything inside this pyxis that could be more precious or valuable than the pyxis itself. In our modern era of machines and plastics, we have lost something. The inherent beauty of this object defies description. The imperfections of the form, the subtle bends and folds are the signature of an individual artisan; a signature lacking on today’s mass produced, one-size-fits-all merchandise. The inside of the lid is decorated by a softly incised undulating floral pattern. The banded handle of the lid recalls the forms of a turreted tower or pagoda. Overall, the superb metalwork of this vessel, the beauty of the form and material, is timeless. This lovely work serves as a link between the treasures of Bactrian gold unearthed in Tillya Tepe and the subsequent Gandhara civilizations whose artistic glories would culminate in the famed monumental Bamiyan Buddhas.
- (PF.5516)


Home About Us Help Contact Us Services Publications Search
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Security

Copyright (c) 2000-2022 by Barakat, Inc. All Rights Reserved - TEL 310.859.8408 - FAX 310.276.1346

coldfusion hosting