Chinese Song / Yuan Dynasty Buddhist Stone Prayer Tablet
This stone 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. It is one of several that we bought a few years ago but have not previously offered for sale.
Along the top of the stone are three large characters within circles, the central one of which is a Chinese character meaning "pure". The other two characters, as well as all the other characters on the panel, 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 human figure in the centre represents an official or a deity in human form. At the foot of the tablet are four zodiac animals or mythical beasts. In places are traces of the original red pigment.
Measurements: 47 cm x 42 cm (18.5 inches x 16.5 inches). Weight 9.6 kg (21 lbs). No repair or restoration; fine 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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