The Buddhist Collection

The objects in the Buddhist collection come from different countries and streams of Buddhism. This indicates that Denys Eyre Bower’s collecting probably stemmed from a love of beautiful objects and not necessarily from a wish to collect devotional imagery from a specific type of Buddhism. Objects come from Tibet, India, Nepal, Myanmar, China and Japan. Denys Bower had very personal reasons for collecting Buddhists objects as he was himself a Buddhist. Some of his work colleagues recalled that he claimed to believe himself the reincarnation of Bonnie Prince Charlie!

Some highlights include:

  • Images of Buddha and bodhisattvas in different mudras (spiritual gestures)
  • Embroidered tangkas: devotional banners that would be hung in a monastery or at a family altar
  • A fine example of a Nepalese shrine in gilded bronze inlaid with stone and glass
  • A Chinese cloisonné altar set formed of a libation cup, ewer and bowl

Information for researchers: Chiddingstone Castle is committed to providing access to its collections. Further information can be provided on request to