round body with rounded bottom and inward-turning lip; black lacquer; rests on fiber-covered ring

Almsbowl, c. 1100

Unknown artist, expand_more

Lacquer on wood coreexpand_more

Gift of Ruth and Bruce Daytonexpand_more  2000.87.3

Not on Viewexpand_more

The almsbowl was one of the few essential possessions of a Buddhist monk specified in the Vinaya, the sixth century BCE code of Buddhist monastic practice. Simple monochromatic vessels like this, based on clay Indian prototypes, symbolized the monks' vow of poverty. Of perfectly rounded form, with sides rising from a round base and curving inward to a wide rimless mouth, this bowl is the epitomy of refined elegance and Song taste. The oldest surviving lacquered almsbowls are eighth century examples preserved in the Shōsō-in Repository in Nara, Japan. This extremely rare bowl appears to be the most refined in form and finish of all recorded examples and has been dated by carbon-14 analysis of its wooden core to about 1100 CE.

Details
Title
Almsbowl
Role
Artist
Dimension
H.4 x Dia.8-3/16 in.
Accession Number
2000.87.3
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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round body with rounded bottom and inward-turning lip; black lacquer; rests on fiber-covered ring