Bracket with Two Musicians

100s CE
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The bearded man plays a lute-like instrument, while his companion holds a clapper-type percussion instrument similar to the kartal still used in parts of India today.


This vaulted bracket, with acanthus leaves on the side, is decorated with a musician-couple who stand on a lotus pedestal. Both figures wear heavily draped robes that consist of two garments: an outer one—like the classical Greek himation—and the inner one, ankle length on the male and floor length on the female. The man's head is covered with a cap or a hood, while the young woman wears her hair pulled into a chignon and decorated with a garland. She also wears heavy earrings. The bracket or corbel of this type, originally probably placed fairly high, seems to be a particularly appropriate component for being decorated with celestial, heavenly musicians. The style is quite characteristic for the Swat area, particularly around Butkara, where Domenico Faccenna conducted extensive archaeological excavations. A number of comparable pieces, including voluted brackets, are decorated with acanthus leaves and figures of diverse types, some of which are celestial musicians who hold the same instruments. The facial types represented here are almost identical to some of the figures from Butkara.
Bracket with Two Musicians

Bracket with Two Musicians

100s CE

Pakistan, Gandhara, probably Butkara in Swat, Kushan period

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