Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Keman (Decorative Pendant Disk)

Kamakura period (1185–1333)
13th century
Gilt bronze and silver
H. 11 in. (27.9 cm); W. 15 1/4 in. (38.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of John M. Crawford Jr., 1968
Accession Number:
Not on view
Pendant disks known as keman, thought to have originated as floral wreaths placed before Buddhist altars as votive offerings, are an integral part of the interior decor of the Buddhist temple. They are generally suspended from columns or from the outer edges of the canopy above the altar platform. This exceptionally well-crafted example features a pair of facing birds modeled in relief, their wings outstretched as if caught in midflight.
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