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No. 43. Round brass seal, with perforated peg, showing a sheep or goat walking to right. From M. 9.
No. 44. Square brass signet-ring (portion of ring missing), engraved with large-horned sheep (ovis Poli?) walking to left. the Takla Makan desert; consignment unknown.
No. 45. Round intaglio of blackish agate with whitish surface on the engraved side (similar to No. 39), showing a deer running to right. From G. 10.
No. 46. Round solid perforated seal-ring, of whitish agate,† showing a crudely made hare (?), running to right. From G. 4.
No. 47. Round intaglio, of spinel, showing a hare running to right. From G. 10.
No. 48. Square flat brass seal, with perforated peg (broken), showing head of a bull en face. From M. 2, found at Aq Sapil. No. 49. Round intaglio, of sardonix *, very deep red, with whitish surface on the engraved side (similar to No. 39), showing a cow standing to right, with suckling calf. From G. 10.
No. 50. Round flat brass seal (much worn), with perforated peg (broken); showing a sheep, walking to left, very crude. From M. 6.
No. 51. Round intaglio of red cornelian; showing a horse, bridled and belted, jumping to left. From G. 4. No 52. Round flat elephant standing to left. No. 53. Square flat
brass seal, with perforated peg, showing an From M. 2, found at Aq Sapil.
brass seal, with perforated peg (broken), showing an elephant, walking to left, harnessed with drapings and carrying a Buddhist relic casket. From M. 2, found at Aq Sapil.
No. 54. Elliptical solid perforated seal-ring, of whitish brownveined agate†; showing Brahmani (humped) bull, standing to right, within chaplet of astragals. From G. 4.
No. 55. Round flat brass seal (much worn), with perforated peg (broken), showing a lion, walking to left. From M. 2.
No. 56. Round intaglio, of red cornelian, showing a lion walking to right. From G. 10.
No. 57. Elliptical intaglio, of lapis lazuli*, showing Pegasus walking to right; two unread letters (Pallavi?) above hind-quarters. From M. 3.
No. 58. Round brass seal (broken), with perforated peg, showing a goose walking to left. From M. 2.
No. 59. Round solid perforated seal-ring, of whitish agate,† showing parrot walking to right. From G. 4.
No. 60. Square flat brass seal, with perforated peg (broken)
showing a roaring lion, seated to right, similar to No. 61, but without
No. 61. Square flat brass seal, with perforated peg, showing a lion or cat sitting to right, with open mouth and uplifted left paw. From M. 2, found at Aq Sapil. Another, but smaller specimen, from G. 7, has the paw not uplifted.
No. 62. Round solid perforated seal-ring, made of whitish agate,t showing a scorpion, walking to right, with raised sting. From G. 4.
No. 63. (Pl. XIX, 7). Conical intaglio, of green glass (much corroded); engravement indistinct, apparently a locust, flying to right. From M. 4.
No. 64. Round flat brass seal (broken and much corroded), with perforated peg, showing two birds (bulbul?) facing each other and fighting. From M. 2, found at Aq Sapil.
No. 65. Round flat ornament of copper, with ring attached to rim, for wearing. In the centre, remains of a nail, showing that originally there was something attached to its back. From M. 9.
No. 66. (Plate XIX, 8). Brass nail with round ornamental head, formed like a mushroom.
No. 67. Round flat brass seal, with perforated peg (broken), showing radiate sun-face, or perhaps wheel.
No. 68. Triangular flat brass seal, with perforated peg, showing a scorpion, walking to right. From M. 6.
No. 69. Elliptical intaglio of red cornelian, engraved with an uncertain design (pair of cymbals ?) From G. 4.
No. 70. Square flat brass seal, with perforated peg (broken), showing an ornamental design. From M. 6.
No. 71. Quarterfoil flat brass seal, with perforated peg, and original piece of thread on which it was worn. Engraved with an ornamental design. From G. 10. Another specimen was in M. 2. See No. 79.
No. 72. Square brass signet-ring (larger portion of ring missing), showing an ornamental design. From the Takla Makan; consignment unknown.
No. 73. Round intaglio of whitish glass,† engraved on one side with the figure of two crossed swords or arrows, on the other, with some kind of faintly incised writing. From G. 4.
No. 74. Obverse and reverse of a round amulet, of serpentine ;* thickness, th of an inch, perforated with a fine string-hole. From the Takla Makan; consignment unknown.
No. 75. Elliptical solid perforated seal-ring, of Bowenite,t engraved with fire-altar, as on Sassanide coins. From G. 4.
No. 76. Square flat seal of brass, with perforated peg, engraved with an ornamental design. From M. 2, found at Aq Sapil.
No. 77. Square flat seal of copper, bearing four square ornamental designs, two of them being different forms of the Svastika. From M. 6. No. 78. Square flat copper seal, with perforated peg, engraved with an ornamental design. From M. 6.
No. 79. Square flat seal of brass, with perforated peg, engraved with an ornamental quaterfoil design. From M. 2, found at Aq Sapil. Another specimen, of the same size, was in M. 9. See No. 71.
No. 80. Flat copper seal, consisting of a square surmounted with a tridental crown, and furnished with a perforated peg. Bearing ornamental designs, that on the square being the same as on No. 79. From M. 6.
No. 81. (Plate XIX, 11). Elliptical intaglio, perhaps of felsite *; Grecian; showing a draped and helmeted figure, sitting on a stool (?), holding a bird (?) on his outstretched right hand. From G. 4.
There is one cameo in the collection. See Plate XIX, 9. From G. 10. It shows the helmeted head of a young man, of Grecian design.
Among the gems, shown on p. 779 of Dr. Sven Hedin's Through Asia, and obtained by him in Khotan, there are several which are strikingly like some in the British collection. Thus the second in his first line of facsimiles resembles our No. 30. There are three other similar ones on that page, but they differ in having a ribbon round the neck of the figure shown on it. There is also there one gem strikingly like our No. 29. The deer, hare, and large-horned sheep are also found on several of them.
But what is more noteworthy is that exactly similar seals and intaglios have been discovered in the ancient stūpas of Afghanistan. Samples of these are shown in Wilson's Ariana Antiqua, Plates i, iii and iv. Thus figs. 7-10 on Pl. iv, show two square flat seals with perforated peg, made of iron or brass. Plate i, fig. 8, Pl. iii, fig. 7 and Pl. iv, figs. 10, 11 are similar cornelian intaglios. The signet-rings, shown on Pl. i, 5, and Pl. iii, 6, though similar in shape to our Nos. 27, 44, 72, differ in being more costly, being of gold with inlaid cornelians, while those in our collection are made entirely of brass or copper.
I may also note the evidences afforded by these objects to the prevalence of Grecian and Buddhist culture in ancient Khotan. Nos. 24, 26, 32, 33 on Pl. III and No. 11 on Pl. XIX are distinctly Grecian; so are the centaur on Pl. III, No. 28, and the pegasus on No. 57. Distinctly Indian are the Brahmani bull on No. 54, and the elephant on Nos. 52, 53. Distinctly Buddhist are the Svastika on
No. 77, and the relic-carrying elephant on No. 53. Old Persian (Zoroastrian) are the fire-altar on No. 75, and the fire-worshipper (?) on No. 34.
With reference to No. 23, I may explain that there is a certain system of divination, well-known all over Northern India. It is practised, I believe, only by men of the extreme North-West, "Kashmiris" as they are commonly called, who are, as a rule, Muhammadans. They use a double set of four brass dice, strung on two short iron rods, round which they freely revolve; four dice on each rod. The eight dice are all made exactly alike; being rectangular parallelopipeds (Pl. XIX, 5), with only four equal sides (not cubes), and marked, on the long oblong sides, with the numbers 2, 3 and 4, denoted by dots, in such a manner that 2 stands on the side opposite to 4, and 3 opposite to 3, as shown in the subjoined woodcut.
The short square sides, of course, which are perforated for the iron rod, bear no numbers; nor is the number one used. The dice look as if they were made of brass, but they are said to be of a special alloy of seven metals, consisting of brass, pewter, iron, lead, silver, gold, and copper. The operator throws the two strings of dice so that they fall parallel to each other, and then counts the dots in parallel lines; thus, lines a and b give 6 each, arranged as 2+2+1+1 and 2+1+1+2, or a combination of 12. Each of the two lines might give any number from 4 to 8, and between them a great variety of arrangements and combinations. From these variations the diviner makes his forecasts.44 The object, described under No. 23 looks very much like one of such a set of dice, only that its faces are marked differently from what is the custom at the present time.
44 A description of the alloy as well as of the modus operandi in divining with such dice will also be found in the "Third Report of Operations in Search of Sanskrit Manuscripts in the Bombay Circle, April 1884 to March 1886," by Professor Peterson, pp. 44-46, printed as an Extra-Number of the Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. Both the description and the sketch of the dice are not quite accurate.
SECTION II.-BLOCK PRINTS.
The following is a summary of the Block-prints in the collection:
With the exception of one, the block prints all alike resemble European books in their style of binding. A Style of Binding. sheet of paper is folded in the middle to form two leaves, with four pages. A number of such folded sheets or "forms are then fastened together, along the line of the fold, to make up a book. For the purpose of fastening them, they are, as a rule, simply laid one upon the other; but there are three books, all belonging to the Third Set, in which they are not laid one upon the other and outside the other, but placed one within the other so that the entire book forms but one folded bundle. Occasionally also, as in No. I of the First Set, a double form is met with, made up of two folded sheets, placed one within the other and thus consisting of four leaves or eight pages. The fastening is done in three ways: either by thread (2), or by twists of paper (12), or by pegs of copper (30).* The last-mentioned method is the commonest: the relative frequency is indicated by
1 See also my Note on some Block-prints in the Proceedings, Asiatic Society of Bengal, for April 1898, p. 124.
* I may add that Mr. C. Bendall informs me (in a letter dated the 1st October, 1897) that the British Museum possesses a book in which "the peg is of wood, not metal.'