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Shwehmawdaw Pagoda, Pegu, Burma

Shwehmawdaw Pagoda, Pegu, Burma

Artist: unknown

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1800

Shelfmark: Add.Or.568

Item number: 568

Length: 46

Width: 58

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour of the Shwemawdaw Pagoda in Pegu (Bago) in Burma (Myanmar) probably by an Indian artist in Calcutta c.1800. Inscribed with 'Choemadoo, the Great Temple at Pegue. See Syme's Ava, p.186. Height 361'. On the back there is a note written by Sotheby's in 1888. This view is similar to an engraving of the pagoda by Singey Bey in Michael Symes 'An Account of an embassy to the Kingdom of Ava sent by the Governor-General of India in the year 1795' published in London in 1800.

Bago, the fourth largest city in Burma, is about 80 kms north-east of Rangoon (Yangon) and was once ancient Hanthawadi, the capital of a Mon kingdom. It is said to have been founded in the 6th century by two Mon princes from Thaton, but achieved its greatest prosperity in the later Mon dynastic period of 1369-1539. The glittering golden top of the Shwemawdaw (Great Golden Lord) Pagoda towers above the town. Said to be more than a thousand years old, it was built to enshrine two hairs of the Buddha and also contains his tooth relics. Succeeding kings have repaired it, added to its height and added htis or umbrellas.

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