VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Manuscript of Buddhist scripture
SKAZsz 2760 MNW
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The presented manuscript is not beautifully illuminated. Its covers are not made from the most precious material like ivory, but it is an impeccable example of Sinhalese scripts written on palm leaves. The delightful, neat and decorative calligraphy; pages carefully cut to size; and the elegantly ornamented covers all identify it as a masterpiece, bearing in mind the fact that the number of Sinhalese manuscripts is diminishing due to the impermanent material from which they were made.

History of the Object
Count Kossakowski inherited, among other objects, a collection of Sinhalese manuscripts from the Apostolic Delegate to India and Patriarch of Antiochia Wladyslaw Zaleski, who spent over 20 years in Ceylon. The manuscripts first came from Ceylon to Italy and then to Poland in 1923 or 1924.

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Type
Book 
Materials
Palm leaf enclosed in wood covers with knotted cords passing through holes drilled in leaves and covers. One of the knots is decorated with an ivory button. The text is incised and covered with black ink.  
Measurements
Width 16 cm Height 4,5 cm Length 28 cm  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Sri Lanka 
Geography
Sri Lanka 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
19th Century; probably 
Function
Among Sinhalese manuscripts the majority constituted Buddhist religious and historical texts. Books containing Buddha words were treated with the highest reverence and copied with great care through the centuries. 
Acquisition
Donated by Count Kossakowski in the early 20s of the 20th century. 
Copyright
Copyright Ⓒ National Museum in Warsaw 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
National Museum in Warsaw, state property 
Museum
National Museum in Warsaw 
Credit line
Courtesy of National Museum in Warsaw 

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