The subject of this study is a collection of over one hundred intaglios, cameos, seals and rings acquired by Tom and Danielle White during a diplomatic posting in Burma (Myanmar) between 1985 and 1989. (Another private collection of intaglios, seals, sealings and other objects from Burma is described briefly in the Appendix.) Twenty rings from Java, also from the White collection, have been added at the end of the catalogue. Until now the few engraved gems from Burma which have been published are scattered through periodicals or only briefly mentioned in larger works. The opportunity has been taken in the present catalogue to compare, where possible, this collection from Burma with intaglios, sealings, coins and other objects from India, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia and elsewhere which may help to set this collection in its regional context. In Part B of the introduction brief descriptions are given of the main Pyu sites in Burma; and of the other 'Indianised' sites in Arakan and elsewhere in SoutheastAsia, where engraved gems have been found.
Sheila E. Hoey Middleton is the author of Engraved Gems from Dalmatia, from the Collections of Sir John Gardner Wilkinson and Sir Arthur Evans in Harrow School, at Oxford and elsewhere (OUCA: 1991); Seals, Finger Rings, Engraved Gems and Amulets in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter (Exeter City Museums: 1998) and Classical Engraved Gems from Turkey and Elsewhere: The Wright Collection BAR Int. Ser. 957 (BAR Publishing). Sheila is also the author of articles on engraved gems and other subjects in journals, including The Third Buddha in South Asian Studies 18 (BASAS, Routledge, 2002) Journal of the Society for South Asian Studies, The British Academy, London; A Gold Ring from Afghanistan Set with a Garnet Intaglio in South Asian Studies, vol.31, No.1 (BASAS, Routledge , 2015) pp.27-37 and The Quest for the Third Buddha; A Sequel in South Asian Studies, vol.26, No.2 (BASAS, Routledge, 2010). Sheila was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 2000.