Closed Mondays

Railing Pillar

Object Number:29-69-3
Current Location: Collections Storage
Provenience: India
Date Made: 2nd century
Early Date: 100
Late Date: 199
Materials:Mathura Sandstone
Red Sandstone
Height: 113.5 cm
Width: 25.8 cm
Thickness: 8.8 cm
Credit Line:Purchased from H. Kevorkian, 1923
Other Number:1 - Other Number


This door jamb fragment was most likley originally part of a Jain or Buddhist Shrine at the ancient site of Mathura. As preserved, it displays three scenes, from bottom to top these are: a figure of a seated male fertility deity (yaksha) with moutstache, who holds a club and a cup; a man and a woman finely dressed, the man holding a garland of flowers and the woman with her hands raised in the gesture of adoration (anjali); and still another couple almost identical to the one below. The two couples represent devotees who come to honor and worship the deity of a now lost shrine. The presence of the yaksha at the bottom indicates that the fertility gods of the common people have also been incorporated into the cult. The shrine that this jamb decorated was probably made out of brick and has since disappeared. Thus this jamb, along with other similar fragments of Kushan doorways, provides valuable evidence for the existence of early temples and the worship of images from a period three centuries before the age of great temple building.

Current & Past Exhibitions:

Sharpe Entrance: Iran and India ( Nov 1997 - 2001) View Objects in Exhibition
Southeast Asian Gallery (1977 - 1987) View Objects in Exhibition
India at the University Museum (31 Mar 1981 - 1987) View Objects in Exhibition
Southeast Asian Gallery ( Sep 1992 - Jul 1997) View Objects in Exhibition
Southeast Asian Gallery (1987 - 1992) View Objects in Exhibition


[Book] Horne, Lee C. 1985. Introduction to the Collections of The University Museum.. Philadelphia. The University Museum. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 56View Objects related to this Actual Citation

You may also be interested in these objects:

Report problems and issues to digitalmedia@pennmuseum.org.