The Society has a large collection of artworks documenting the rich histories and cultural traditions of South Asia.
The Society has a large collection of artworks. These include paintings, drawings, engravings, and sculpture by both European and Asian artists. Most of these are described in the Catalogue of paintings, drawings, engravings and busts in the collection of the Royal Asiatic Society (by Raymond Head, 1991).
Many of these artworks are catalogued, with accompanying thumbnail images, on our online catalogue.
Currently our Online Collections feature architectural drawings of Kathmandu in 1844, by Raj Man Singh Chitrakar, that were donated to the RAS by Brian Houghton Hodgson.
The Society has an important collection of art from East Asia, particularly China and Japan, with many beautiful and fascinating pieces.
The Royal Asiatic Society has a small collection of busts, depicting significant figures in the history of the Society and of Oriental studies in Great Britain and Ireland. Notable figures in our collection include the Sanskritist Henry Thomas Colebrooke (1765-1837), who founded the RAS; Sinologist Thomas Manning (1772-1840); and Brian Houghton Hodgson (1800-1894), naturalist and antiquarian.
The Society’s collection includes two rare, early versions of Snakes and Ladders, a game which originated in ancient India and which is now popular around the world.