Silver; Diam. 6 1/8 in. (15.6 cm)
Purchase, 2006 Benefit Fund, 2007 (2007.187)
Worked mainly in repoussé, this silver cup stand is decorated with the Eight Treasuresthe wheel, the banner, the double fish, the precious vase, the parasol, the conch, the lotus, and the endless knota Buddhist motif often found in Chinese decorative arts. Each treasure rests on a lotus flower placed in the center of a square petal set against a background of dense ring matting. The unusually high relief, the delicate beading that defines the edges of the petals, and the braiding that separates areas in the design are characteristic of art created in China under Mongol Yuan rule, particularly in the first half of the fourteenth century. The decoration shows close parallels to that on the back of a mirror excavated in Beijing in 1962 from the tomb of Tie Ke (12471313), a high-ranking official whose family included Kashmiri Buddhist monks. A badly abraded and nearly illegible inscription incised into the rim on the back might possibly read "Dong Erni ji," most likely the name of the workshop.