Bowl with the Eight Buddhist Treasures, Cloisonné enamel, China

Bowl with the Eight Buddhist Treasures

Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
16th century
Cloisonné enamel
H. 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm); Diam. 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm); Diam. of foot 5 1/2 in. (14 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Edward G. Kennedy, 1929
Accession Number:
Not on view
The objects supported by lotus stands at the center of this bowl illustrate a traditional grouping of eight "treasures”—among them an endless knot, a banner or flag, a conch shell, and a pair of fish—that were introduced with Buddhism and are often found in the later decorative arts. Here, the fish are repeated at the bottom of the bowl, while lotus blossoms, Buddhist symbols of purity, decorate the exterior. The prevalence of imagery associated with Buddhism and other religious practices in the decoration of cloisonné reflects the use of such goods in temples and palaces.
Edward Guthrie Kennedy , New York, 1929; donated to MMA
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of the Ming Dynasty: China's Age of Brilliance," January 23, 2009–September 13, 2009.

New York. Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture. "Cloisonné: Chinese Enamels from the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties," January 25, 2011–April 17, 2011.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Red and Black: Chinese Lacquer, 13th–16th Century," September 7, 2011–June 10, 2012.