Guy, John. Indian Temple Sculpture. London, V&A Publication 2007, p.31, pl. 31. ISBN 971851775095
Willis, Michael. Buddhist Reliquaries from Ancient India. London : British Museum Press, 2000. ISBN 0 7141 1492 8. p. 90 and fig.103.
Rock Crystal, Stupa No. 2, Bhojpur (Sanchi), Madhya Pradesh, c.3rd-2nd century BC
Height: 9 cm, Width: 11 cm, Depth: 8.5 cm
South-East Asia, room 47b
Miniature stupa relic-holder of carved crystal, in three parts. Found by Gen. Cunningham and Gen. Maisey in about 1851, within a red earthenware box deposited in the relic chamber of the Stupa No. 2 at Sanchi at the deserted village of Bhojpur, 61/2 miles S.E. of Sanchi, Bhopal State, Central India. The date of the relic-holder may be the end of the 3rd century B.C
The stupa consists of a flanged-wheel like plinth, sunk in the middle to accommodate the dowel of the hemispherical dome which fits into it. On top of the dome is a square 'harmika' from which rises the double chattra or umbrella. The middle of the dome is pierced with a small perpendicular cylindrical shaft or relic- holder in which were found some minute pieces of bone. The umbrella-pinnacle forms the stopper to this shaft. With this small stupa were also found a series of seven precious things, the usual accompaniment of the relics of an eminent person.
This miniature rock crystal reliquary is in the form of a Buddhist stupa. Rock crystal, a material of extreme purity, was often used for making containers for sacred relics. This reliquary was excavated in 1851 at Bhojpur, near Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, in central India. The barrel of the stupa is hollow to accomodate small relics, and it would have been capped by an umbrella, a symbol of high rank. It probably dates from the Late Mauryan period, 3rd-2nd century BC.