Barger, E. and Wright, P., ‘Excavations in Swat and Explorations in the Oxus Territories of Afghanistan, a detailed report of the 1938 expedition’, Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India, vol. 64, Calcutta, 1941. W. Zwalf, A catalogue of Gandharan Sculpture in the British Museum, British Museum Press, London, 1996, 2 vols.
Fragment of as Sculptural narrative relief panel from a stupa drum illustrating the first bath of the Buddha, grey schist, 1st century AD, Swat Valley.
Height: 0.145 m, Length: 0.34 m
Acquired from Evert Barger, Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Bristol and Philip Wright, V&A Museum, as part of the collection of finds excavated during their expedition to the Swat valley in 1938. This is No. 69 in Barger's lists. For a discussion of the iconography of the Buddha's first bath see W. Zwalf, No 152, p. 152.
Ackermann, Hans Christoph. Narrative stone reliefs from Gandhara in theVictoria and Albert Museum in London : catalogue and attempt at a stylistic history Rome : IsMEO, 1975. p. 63-4, plate XIb .
This badly damaged fragment is part of a long slightly curved frieze from a stupa drum. The surviving scene contains a representation of the Buddha's First Bath. The child stands frontally in the centre of the panel while two male figures pour water from two water jars over him in a scene of lustration. Only the outline of the Buddha child is preserved. A male figure (probably Brahma) on the boy's left, with a cockaded turban shown against a nimbus, is dressed in an antariya with an uttariya draped over his left shoulder and looped across his body down to his right knee. He wears a breast chain over his chest. Standing with his left hand on his hip and his left knee flexed, he looks towards the boy. The figure on the other side ( probably Indra) stands in apparent profile with his head looking over his shoulder to a worshipper behind him. He too wears a cockaded turban, but without any nimbus behind his head. He wears his antariya drawn up between his legs and tucked in at the side. His uttariya is slung round his body and over his back and he has a shoulder chain. Remnants of another worshipper on the right hand side can still be discerned. The scene is set within a plain rectangular border with the remains of rounded pillars and capitals on either side,and a small fragment of the adjacent scene on the right hand side. A badly abraded foliated garland runs across the top of the panel.
There is a fixing pinhole between the heads of the two left hand figures. Traces of a beige-coloured mortar can be seen on the back of the relief.