Late 18th - early 19th century bronze sealed stupa from Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Very elegant religious object in excellent condition with beautiful patina on the metal. Sealed at the bottom of the rounded section, seal seems to be original, and the sealed contents makes pleasant sound when the stupa is shaken. Stupa, being the original container of Buddha’s ashes, came to represent The Buddha. Later development of Buddhist thought led to interpretation of stupa’s square, triangular, round and vertical forms as symbols of primary elements, and combined with victory banners and parasols of enlightenment, as all-pervasive mind of all Buddhas. Wonderful and rather unusual devotional object, part of an old British collection. Height 5 7/8 inches.