Object of the Month

In this monthly blog series, our collections team write about their Object of the Month, chosen from our collection.

Avalokiteshvara

Avalokiteshvara

This impressive statue of a bodhisattva (a being working towards enlightenment) is our object of the month for February. Each detail of this gilt-bronze statue has a meaning related to Buddhist beliefs and teachings.

Articulated spiny lobster

Articulated spiny lobster

In celebration of the New Year, our Object of the Month for January is this articulated model of a spiny lobster. This creature was made in Japan and designed to be lifelike and posable. Spiny lobsters are a staple of the traditional New Year’s meal, and were also a favourite of the samurai.

Jacobite Glass

Jacobite Glass

Our object of the month for December is this engraved glass made for a Jacobite, or a supporter of the Stuart family’s claim to the throne of England. Made in the 18th century, it was designed for toasts to the health of the Stuarts, and decorated in secret symbols and a motto meaning ‘go forth with great daring’.

Statue of Tara

Statue of Tara

Our Object of the Month for October is this tiny statue of the Buddhist deity Green Tara. Tara is believed to be a compassionate protector who guides Buddhist practitioners on their quest to achieve freedom from all suffering.

Zeus-Serapis

Zeus-Serapis

Our Object of the Month for July is a small statue fragment of the god Zeus-Serapis. A combination of a Greek god and an Egyptian god, Zeus-Serapis was worshipped particularly in Alexandria during the Greek and Roman periods of ancient Egyptian history.

Dance Mask

Dance Mask

Our June Object of the Month is this lacquered wooden mask made for the Japanese bugaku dance. Bugaku was originally enjoyed by noblemen and imperial courtiers. It eventually became a celebrated part of traditional Japanese culture.

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