Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Three-Footed Stand (Kongōban) for Buddhist Ritual Implements

Kamakura period (1185–1333)
13th century
Gilt bronze
H. 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm); W. 8 1/4 in. (21 cm); L. 11 1/4 in. (28.6 cm)
Credit Line:
The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 223
For Esoteric Buddhist ritual prayer and incantations, a set of vajra pestles (kongōsho) and a bell (kongōrei) would be placed upon this bronze stand. The curved, leg-like supports are called “cat feet” in Japanese. The oldest known kongōban tray in Japan is believed to be the one preserved at Tōji Temple in Kyoto, which was brought back from China in the ninth century by the monk Kūkai, founder of the Shingon Buddhist sect in Japan.
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