Opium Weight 16thC Beast EOW58

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.

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.

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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