Chinese Song / Yuan Dynasty Buddhist Stone Prayer Tablet
This stone (marble) panel, described by some as a "prayer tablet", was excavated from a Buddhist site in Yunnan province in the South-West of China and dates to the Song Dynasty (AD 960 - 1279), Yuan Dynasty (AD 1279 - 1368) or possibly the early Ming Dynasty.
In the centre of the tablet is a seated figure, representing an official or a deity in human form. Along the base are what appear to be three of the twelve zodiac animals. The various characters are of a Sanskrit type of script that has not been translated. However, it is clear that it is a Buddhist script intended as prayers.
The carvings are highlighted, and the animals decorated with red pigment. In addition, black pigment has been used as a grid for the characters as well as for decorating the animals. All of the pigment is original.
Height 42 cm (16.5 inches), maximum width 39 cm (15.25 inches). No repair or restoration; a nice example in exceptional condition.
For information: Such panels come from the same location as the Buddhist pottery jars that we have, bearing the same type of script, some of which we have had TL tested with a result of "fired between 600 and 1000 years ago".
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