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42 hits

  • Thumbnail for Amitabha Dharani Sutra - middle of scroll
    Amitabha Dharani Sutra - middle of scroll

    On the fiftieth anniversary of his graduation, Charles R. Bennett ('07) gifted this woodblock-printed, illustrated Buddhist text to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Dating to the year 975, the Amitabha Sutra is probably the earliest printed object in the college's collection. Consider that the world's earliest dated printed book is the Buddhist Diamond Sutra of 868 (now in the British Library) and that the Gutenberg Bible hails from the mid-1400s. Mr. Bennett, who lived and worked in China for two decades after graduating, remarked that the sutra was recovered from a brick of a pagoda in the city of Hangzhou. Indeed , on September 25, 1924, the famous Leifeng ("Thunder Peak") Pagoda collapsed. Erected by a regional king, the Leifeng Pagoda stood on the southern bank of the scenic West Lake for nearly a millenium. In 2000-01, a team of excavators revealed an underground chamber filled with gilt silver and bronze sculptures along with artifacts of stone and jade. In addition, the excavation confirmed the presence of bricks with cylindrical cavities that once held printed sutras. Bowdoin's sutra, not quite 3 inches high but almost seven feet long, is currently mounted as a handscroll. Its condition attests to its age, but as we may still distinguish from right to left a dedication, an illustration, and a sutra text. The dedication tells us that the king, Wang Qianchu, commissioned 84,000 copies of this sutra to be placed in the pagoda in the 8th month of the year 975. The illustration shows two distinct moments. At right a worshipper kneels at an altar table placed before a holy triad comprised of a seated Buddhist deity and a pair of monks. At left, the deity appears to a beseeching worshipper. Radiant jewels hang from above, fragrant flowers rain down, and a splendid stupa is placed at the center, giving the scene a sacred air. Following the illustration, the text records a story of how Buddha once restored a crumbling pagoda. It seems likely that by placing many copies of this sutra in Leifeng Pagoda, the king could ensure the building's continued existence. (text drafted for a Bowdoin College Museum of Art newsletter by De-nin D. Lee. The entire scroll measures approximately 3" x 7'. Woodblock-printed, illustrated Buddhist text. To view more of the scroll, click on related record below.

  • Thumbnail for Amitabha Dharani Sutra - end of scroll
    Amitabha Dharani Sutra - end of scroll

    On the fiftieth anniversary of his graduation, Charles R. Bennett ('07) gifted this woodblock-printed, illustrated Buddhist text to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Dating to the year 975, the Amitabha Sutra is probably the earliest printed object in the college's collection. Consider that the world's earliest dated printed book is the Buddhist Diamond Sutra of 868 (now in the British Library) and that the Gutenberg Bible hails from the mid-1400s. Mr. Bennett, who lived and worked in China for two decades after graduating, remarked that the sutra was recovered from a brick of a pagoda in the city of Hangzhou. Indeed , on September 25, 1924, the famous Leifeng ("Thunder Peak") Pagoda collapsed. Erected by a regional king, the Leifeng Pagoda stood on the southern bank of the scenic West Lake for nearly a millenium. In 2000-01, a team of excavators revealed an underground chamber filled with gilt silver and bronze sculptures along with artifacts of stone and jade. In addition, the excavation confirmed the presence of bricks with cylindrical cavities that once held printed sutras. Bowdoin's sutra, not quite 3 inches high but almost seven feet long, is currently mounted as a handscroll. Its condition attests to its age, but as we may still distinguish from right to left a dedication, an illustration, and a sutra text. The dedication tells us that the king, Wang Qianchu, commissioned 84,000 copies of this sutra to be placed in the pagoda in the 8th month of the year 975. The illustration shows two distinct moments. At right a worshipper kneels at an altar table placed before a holy triad comprised of a seated Buddhist deity and a pair of monks. At left, the deity appears to a beseeching worshipper. Radiant jewels hang from above, fragrant flowers rain down, and a splendid stupa is placed at the center, giving the scene a sacred air. Following the illustration, the text records a story of how Buddha once restored a crumbling pagoda. It seems likely that by placing many copies of this sutra in Leifeng Pagoda, the king could ensure the building's continued existence. From a text drafted for a Bowdoin College Museum of Art newsletter by De-nin D. Lee. The entire work measures approximately 3" x 7'. Woodblock-printed, illustrated Buddhist text. To view other images related to this work, click on related record below.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Carved Yingqing Porcelain Bowl
    Chinese Carved Yingqing Porcelain Bowl

    2 3/4" h x 6 7/8" w. Conical form with fine wedge-shape foot ring, floral and birds carved with dotted combed effect in the interior, pale blue glaze, base and foot ring partially glazed leaving a small burnt red unglazed area in the center, foliate rim.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Jianyao "Hare's Fur" Bowl (bottom)
    Chinese Jianyao "Hare's Fur" Bowl (bottom)

    2 3/4" h x 4 5/8" w. Flared side turning upward near the rim and indented toward the footring, the dark brown stoneware is covered with a brown glaze inside and two-thirds of the way down on the outside where it has pooled, thinning on the lip. In addition to the brown, radiating streaks of black are on the interior and exterior.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese "Hare's Fur" teabowl (bottom)
    Chinese "Hare's Fur" teabowl (bottom)

    2 1/2"" h x 4 1/4""w. Bottom view of hare's fur teabowl.

  • Thumbnail for Ding Ware Bowl - top view
    Ding Ware Bowl - top view

    Low relief molded or carved design on interior; two phoenix birds & flowers. "Greek fret" row above them. Flower on bottom. Light celadon glaze, unglazed rim. One large and several small iron spots. Hairline crack c. 5 cm long down from edge.

  • Thumbnail for Song Dynasty Teabowl
    Song Dynasty Teabowl

    Tea bowl covered in a distinctive bluish-green glaze.

  • Thumbnail for Laozi Statue
    Laozi Statue

    Statue of Laozi from the Song Dynasty, carved from the rock of Mt. Qingyuan in Fujian.

  • Thumbnail for Tea bowl
    Tea bowl

    Konoha Tenmoku tea bowl. A leaf has been baked into the glaze. A popularization of the tea ceremony in the 16th century in Japan led to the covetization of finely made Chinese tea bowls.

  • Thumbnail for Tiger Hill Pagoda
    Tiger Hill Pagoda

    Also known as Yunyan Temple Pagoda, this pagoda on Tiger Hill is the oldest pagoda in Suzhou and is composed of seven stories.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Yingqing Miniature Figure
    Chinese Yingqing Miniature Figure

    1 3/8" h. The chubby round-faced boy crawling on his knees, wearing a harness, his hair falling to the sides of his head, simply incised fingers, a greenish-blue opaque glaze falling just above his hands and lower legs revealing the paste burnt iron-red. Roughly modeled.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Jianyao "Hare's Fur" Bowl (top)
    Chinese Jianyao "Hare's Fur" Bowl (top)

    2 3/4" h x 4 5/8" w. Flared side turning upward near the rim and indented toward the footring, the dark brown stoneware is covered with a brown glaze inside and two-thirds of the way down on the outside where it has pooled, thinning on the lip. In addition to the brown, radiating streaks of black are on the interior and exterior.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Junyao Bowl - top view
    Chinese Junyao Bowl - top view

    6 3/4" w. Campunulate form with slightly inverted rim, carved with two tiers of overlapping petals just above the foot on the exterior and freely carved floral scrolls in the interior of the bowl, the unglazed base has a shallow narrow foot ring, a blue glaze on the exterior and interior terminating to a mushroom color on the rim, an incised quarter moon on the base. Song Dynasty or later.

  • Thumbnail for Tea bowl
    Tea bowl

    Yohen Tenmoku tea bowl. A popularization of the tea ceremony in the 16th century led to the covetization of finely made Chinese tea bowls.

  • Thumbnail for Quatrain on Autumn
    Quatrain on Autumn by Yang Meizi

    Autumn quatrain by Yang Meizi, empress during the Song under Emperor Ningzong's reign. The quatrain refers to the Double-Ninth Festival (Chong yang), the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, on which revelers traditionally ascended hills or high towers to enjoy distant views: 'On festival days of the four seasons people busily hurry; From this one knows we are living in a happy domain. The ninth day [of the ninth month] approaches, yet beside the fence it is lonely; Only when the chrysanthemums blossom will the Chong yang festival arrive.' [quote from Richard Harrist]

  • Thumbnail for Chinese "Hare's Fur" teabowl (profile)
  • Thumbnail for Chinese Ming Style Vase - view 2
    Chinese Ming Style Vase - view 2

    7" h. Baluster form, very finely painted in brilliant underglazed-blue from the lip down, a band of ruyi heads with hanging jewel pendants, on the bottom of the neck a band of stiff overlapping leaves followed by a narrow band of diamond diaper alternating with four Buddhist emblems, the Wheel of the Law, conch shell, umbrella and vase, followed by a band of pendant three prong spear heads on the shoulder, two chilong standing at the top of a cliff with a twisted tree trunk above and behind them with rock formations, on the tall splayed foot a band of formal lotus pod lappets, stippling and mottling simulating ""heaped and piled"" effect, surface with ""orange peel"" effect, seal characters of Yongzheng and of the period

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Junyao Bowl - bottom view
    Chinese Junyao Bowl - bottom view

    6 3/4" w. Campunulate form with slightly inverted rim, carved with two tiers of overlapping petals just above the foot on the exterior and freely carved floral scrolls in the interior of the bowl, the unglazed base has a shallow narrow foot ring, a blue glaze on the exterior and interior terminating to a mushroom color on the rim, an incised quarter moon on the base. Song Dynasty or later.

  • Thumbnail for Stoneware Dish (front)
    Stoneware Dish (front)

    Front view of one of a set of small offering plates. The front side features an incised lotus in which the green glaze sits to highlight the design. A light crackle effect can be seen on all of the set pieces; the underside is useful for showing how the glaze flows over the body of the plate, clinging but not entirely covering it.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese "Hare's Fur" teabowl (top)
    Chinese "Hare's Fur" teabowl (top)

    2 1/2"" h x 4 1/4""w.

  • Thumbnail for Goose-shaped pouring vessel
    Goose-shaped pouring vessel

    Pouring vessel shaped like a goose; dating to the Song dynasty but made to look like an ancient vessel. The bronze is inlaid with gold and silver. The goose's neck serves as the spout; the vessel also features a handle at the top to aid in pouring, and is supported by the goose's two legs.

  • Thumbnail for Bronze Vase
    Bronze Vase

    Bronze vase with rounded bottom and narrower neck opening up to a wider mouth. Song dynasty copy of earlier bronze age works.

  • Thumbnail for Amitabha Dharani Sutra - frontispiece with illustration
    Amitabha Dharani Sutra - frontispiece with illustration

    On the fiftieth anniversary of his graduation, Charles R. Bennett ('07) gifted this woodblock-printed, illustrated Buddhist text to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Dating to the year 975, the Amitabha Sutra is probably the earliest printed object in the college's collection. Consider that the world's earliest dated printed book is the Buddhist Diamond Sutra of 868 (now in the British Library) and that the Gutenberg Bible hails from the mid-1400s. Mr. Bennett, who lived and worked in China for two decades after graduating, remarked that the sutra was recovered from a brick of a pagoda in the city of Hangzhou. Indeed , on September 25, 1924, the famous Leifeng ("Thunder Peak") Pagoda collapsed. Erected by a regional king, the Leifeng Pagoda stood on the southern bank of the scenic West Lake for nearly a millenium. In 2000-01, a team of excavators revealed an underground chamber filled with gilt silver and bronze sculptures along with artifacts of stone and jade. In addition, the excavation confirmed the presence of bricks with cylindrical cavities that once held printed sutras. Bowdoin's sutra, not quite 3 inches high but almost seven feet long, is currently mounted as a handscroll. Its condition attests to its age, but as we may still distinguish from right to left a dedication, an illustration, and a sutra text. The dedication tells us that the king, Wang Qianchu, commissioned 84,000 copies of this sutra to be placed in the pagoda in the 8th month of the year 975. The illustration shows two distinct moments. At right a worshipper kneels at an altar table placed before a holy triad comprised of a seated Buddhist deity and a pair of monks. At left, the deity appears to a beseeching worshipper. Radiant jewels hang from above, fragrant flowers rain down, and a splendid stupa is placed at the center, giving the scene a sacred air. Following the illustration, the text records a story of how Buddha once restored a crumbling pagoda. It seems likely that by placing many copies of this sutra in Leifeng Pagoda, the king could ensure the building's continued existence. From text drafted for a Bowdoin College Museum of Art newsletter by De-nin D. Lee. The entire scroll measures approximately 3" x 7'. Woodblock-printed, illustrated Buddhist text. To view the text that accompanies this illustration, click on related records below.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Inscribed Bronze Mirror (back)
    Chinese Inscribed Bronze Mirror (back)

    3" w. Cast and decorated in relief with two men flanking the pierced dumbell-form knob and with eight Buddhist precious objects dispersed above and below. Narrow wedge shaped ridge.

  • Thumbnail for Glazed White Vase
    Glazed White Vase

    Vase with light carving under a milky white glaze. Floral motif wraps around the piece, which has been repaired with a metal band around the lip.