明 永樂 紅漆戧金 《佛名經》 夾經板 Sutra Covers with the Eight Buddhist Treasures
Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Yongle period (1403–24)
Red lacquer with incised decoration inlaid with gold
L. 28 1/2 in. (72.4 cm); W. 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm); H. of each cover 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm)
Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving, 2015
Not on view
This pair of sutra covers was made for an edition of the Tibetan Buddhist canon, comprising 108 volumes, produced in Beijing at the order of the emperor in 1410. A triple flaming jewel—symbolic of the Buddha, his teaching, and the monastic community—is the central motif. Four additional emblems, part of a set known as the Eight Treasures, flank the jewels. Inscriptions in Tibetan and Chinese on the back of each set of covers identify the texts once contained within, in this case a volume listing the names of the one thousand Buddhas born in the current cosmic era.
Florence and Herbert Irving , New York (until 2015; donated to MMA)