Francesco Bianchini, A copper-plate charter tablet from ca. 650 CE, Gujarat, India

A copper-plate charter of the Maitraka Dynasty

A copper-plate charter of the Maitraka Dynasty (Gujarat, 7th century CE) – British Library IO-19 – 2 plates, ca.37x28cm.

The object chosen for this presentation is a Maitraka charter dating from ca. 648 CE. It is now kept at the British Library under the signature IO-19. Charter IO-19 consists of a set of two plates measuring ca. 37x28cm, the borders of which are slightly elevated. The rings have been lost, but the overall state of preservation is remarkably good. The plates were likely treated by the British Library’s conservation specialists at some point.

The plates are inscribed with 27 and 26 lines of text respectively on one side, the other side being blank. Lines consist of ca. 40 syllables. Letter size is not perfectly regular, nor is position.  The inscriptions records a donation of a village’s revenue to an individual of the Brahmin class, who is expected to conduct certain regular rituals.