Box in the shape of a “Buddha’s hand” citron


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 219

The citron-shape of this box has been nicknamed Buddha’s hand (foshou) because the fingerlike segments that grow from the stem of a bright yellow citrus fruit are thought to resemble one of the ritual gestures (mudras) found in Buddhist art. Foshou is also a rebus in which the term fo, or Buddha, serves as a homonym for good fortune (fu), while the term for hand (shou) equals longevity (shou).

Box in the shape of a “Buddha’s hand” citron, Amber, China

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Together as a box - Side 1 of 2