Fine Large Chinese Song / Yuan Dynasty Buddhist Stone Prayer Tablet
This rare and exceptional 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.
Along the top of the stone are five large characters within circles, the central one of which is a Chinese character meaning I (or "myself"). The other four 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: 58 cm x 48 cm (23 inches x 19 inches). Weight 19.6 kg (43 lbs). No repair or restoration; fine condition.
For information: this stone panel comes from the same location as the Buddhist pottery jars that we have, bearing the same type of script: see for example our TL tested pottery jar, stock number M0977. This is a particularly large and fine example, and looks superb when displayed well with a raking light. See also our stone panel, stock number M8603, both of which together would make a very good pair.
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