Part of a relief frieze with groups of two figures between columns, grey schist, 1st Century AD, Swat Valley.
Height: 7.3 cm, Length: 49.5 cm
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. Two fragments of a frieze (S 1874 and S 1899) from the excavations of the monastic site at Saidu Sharif, near Mingora, Swat, also have birds with outstretched wings perched on vases.
This fragment of a frieze is divided in sections, of which five remain, by means of Corinthian-type squat half columns. It is bounded by a simple ledge at the bottom and moulding on the top above a plain fillet carved with a double row of vertically grooved lotus petals. Each section contains different pairs of figures in apparent lively conversation wearing garments variously wrapped around them. In the extreme right, two birds with long tails are perched on the rim of a large rounded vase, with their wings extended behind them.
The frieze tapers in thickness at each end and the top side has a crampslot and mortice.