Opium Weight 16thC Beast EOW58

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A very rare weight from Mandalay, Burma, this is one of the earliest forms of beast opium weights from the 16thC. It is from period Ib & Ic (Gear p. 92) and is in excellent condition with a rich smooth patina and minimal loss of decorative details. It is becoming exceedingly difficult to find weights from this period now, especially in such good condition.

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The beast opium weight is thought to represent the Bodhisattva, or one who seeks enlightenment out of compassion to release others from suffering, as well as the Chakravartin, a divine universal monarch.

Characteristics
Height: 4cm, 1.57 in
Base: 3.5 cm, 1.4 in
Weight: 10 kyat/tical, 150 grams (kyat mass: 15g)
Base plan: octagonal
Base lines: 3 horizontal lines
Sign: Front Circular Depression
Period: 1551-1595 King Bayinnaung
Form: beast/to-naya

* Earth to Heaven: The Royal Animal-Shaped Weights of the Burmese Empire Paperback , 2002 by Joan & Donald Gear

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