Cup Stand with the Eight Buddhist Treasures

Period: Yuan dynasty (1271–1368)

Date: 14th century

Culture: China

Medium: Silver with repoussé decoration

Dimensions: H. 1/2 in. (1.3 cm); Diam. of rim: 6 1/8 in. (15.6 cm); Diam. of foot: 5 1/8 in. (13 cm)

Classification: Metalwork

Credit Line: Purchase, 2006 Benefit Fund, 2007

Accession Number: 2007.187


The objects resting on lotus buds on the interior of this cup stand represent seven of the Eight Buddhist Treasures: a wheel, an endless knot, a conch shell, a victory banner, lotus flowers, a pair of fish, and a treasure vase. (The traditional eighth treasure, a parasol, has been substituted here by a pair of elephant tusks.) After the fourteenth century these symbols, not necessarily in a group of eight, appeared on metalwork, porcelains, and textiles in China and Tibet.