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    Sale 2266

    Japanese and Korean Art

    17 March 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 17

    A bronze and crystal reliquary


    Price Realised  


    A bronze and crystal reliquary
    Muromachi Period (16th Century)
    Formed as a tortoise on a rocky outcropping lapped by waves and supporting on its back a lotus-form base, further surmounted by a crystal jewel enveloped in three bands of flames and containing fresh water pearls
    10¼in. (26cm.) high

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    As the exhibition catalogue cited above explains, miniature pagodas, known collectively as sharito, were substitutes for reliquaries containing ash and bone of the historical Buddha. The reliquary here is in the form of a Wish-granting Jewel, a crystal globe containing tiny fresh water pearls enclosed by three bands of flames above a lotus platform. The dais rests on a tortoise, emblematic of long life. Originally it would have been housed in a small pagoda or cabinet in the Image Hall of a temple.


    Howard A. Link, ed., Asian Orientations: Treasures from Honolulu's Oriental Art Society, exh. cat. (Honolulu: Oriental Art Society of Hawaii and the Honolulu Academy of Arts, 1985), no. 64.


    Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu, Hawaii, "Asian Orientations: Treasures from Honolulu's Oriental Art Society," 1985.7.11--8.22, no. 64