International Museum Day

Travel

May 18 is celebrated as International Museum Day. Let's check out some amazing artefacts from 10 museums across the world

GILT BRONZE MANDALA, BRITISH MUSEUM, ENGLAND
This exquisite bronze mandala is an example of the Sino-Tibetan style. It was made in China during the Qing dynasty. At the centre of the mandala is a deity, Yi-dam, or fully enlightened being, who is locked in embrace with his prajna or wisdom partner. 20 lesser deities surround them, two or three on each petal, followed by circular drums or altars. The petals are inscribed with deities and a variety of emblems, including a horse, elephant, wheel, ewer, staff, parasols, ribbon, canopies and jewels.

MORSE TELEGRAPH INSTRUMENT, THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, NEW YORK
This ancient brass telegraph instrument dates back to 1837.

THAT BEAUTIFUL PICTURE, JOSE ZAPATA (PEN ON PAPER), MUSEO DEL PRADO, SPAIN
The Spanish school produced the best drawings from the end of the Middle Ages to the early Modern Age. This 15th Century drawing was made for the high altar of San Juan de los Reyes in Toledo, Spain.

CARVED PETROGLYPH, THE STATE HERMITAGE MUSEUM, RUSSIA
This piece of rock has over 60 chipped drawings on it. These include figures of men, deer, elks, birds and boats with people in them and circles and semicircles with long projections. Many attempts have been made to decode this petroglyph, which was found in the middle of the 19th Century. Some scholars think that the images record the annual economic cycle of the ancient inhabitants of Karelia (the circles and semicircles with projections are interpreted as animal traps). Others regard the drawings as mythological scenes connected with sun worship (circles and semicircles) and the cult of ancestors (boats with men).

HORSE AND MAN ARMOURS, THE PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART, PENNSYLVANIA, USA
This is an outstanding masterpiece of early Renaissance which is an exceedingly rare, fine piece complete with horse armour and man armour. It was made in 1507 and about 1505 by the celebrated German armourers Wilhelm von Worms the Elder and Matthes Deutsch respectively.

AN ARABIAN AT THE TOMB, HIROSHIMA MUSEUM OF ART, JAPAN
L'Arabe au Tombeau or An Arabian at the Tomb is a classic painting made in 1838 using oil and canvas.

GOLD GUPTA DYNASTY COIN, CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI MAHARAJ VASTU SANGRAHALAYA, MUMBAI
This coin was issued by Chandragupta II, the third Gupta king who reigned from 375 to 414AD. In this coin we see Chandragupta II in the act of felling a lion with his bow and arrow. The Brahmi legend below his left arm reads 'Chandra' and that around the coin reads 'Devashri Maharajadhiraja Shree Chandragupta'. On the reverse of the coin is the Goddess Lakshmi, seated on a lotus. The legend reads 'Shrivikramah'. This coin belongs to the famous Bayana hoard found in Rajasthan.

CANDLESTICK, NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART, WASHINGTON DC, USA
This exquisite candlestick is a French piece of art made in the 16th Century. It is lead-glazed fine earthenware belonging to the Renaissance period.

CARVED RED LACQUER BOX WITH BIRD AND FLOWER DESIGN, HONG KONG MUSEUM OF ART, HONG KONG
This carved red lacquer box with a bird and flower design was carved during the Yuan dynasty (1271 to 1368). The resinous sap of the lacquer tree Rhus verniciflua has been used by the Chinese as a protective and watertight covering for wood and other vessels since the Neolithic period.

CELESTIAL SPHERE, MUSÉE DU LOUVRE, FRANCE
This is the oldest known example of an ancient Eastern celestial sphere. It was created by Yunus ibn al-Husayn al-Asturlabi. This celestial sphere, from the Seljuk period, is remarkable for its engraved decoration and its scientific precision. The inlaid silver points representing 1,025 stars highlight a technique, which was completely unknown in the Western world at the time.

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