CT Scans in Art Work Appraisal

Figure 3

A. Stupa (chedi), Mandalay, Burma/Myanmar, 19th century. Ivory, 18 cm.

B. CT: 3D views of the openwork stupa, cut (virtually) into 3 separate volumes, which enables the Buddha to be studied separately from the screen. By rendering the screen gradually translucent and finally transparent, we obtain a view of the Buddha that the artist never saw.

C. CT: a series of thin axial sections which show the precision of the work of hollowing out the ivory and the lack of restoration. They also show the root canal, in the form of an oval hole visible in the centre of each section (arrows), running from the tip to the base of the stupa, thereby proving that it was carved from a single piece of ivory.

Detail: larger photo view