May 14, 2012

Three-pronged Vajra Pestle (Sankosho)

Three-pronged Vajra Pestle (Sankosho)

early 1300s

Gilt bronze

Overall: 17.5 x 5 cm (6 7/8 x 1 15/16 in.)

Gift of Dr. Richard G. Paley 1974.264

Location

Did you know?

The vajra is said to tear through ignorance like a powerful thunderbolt.

Description

Called a vajra in Sanskrit, a pestle of this kind is an Esoteric Buddhist ritual implement derived from the thunderbolt held by the Indian Vedic god Indra. The round forms along the center of the handle, known as demon eyes, are rather compressed in this example, and the lotus petal shapes near the prongs are quite sharply delineated.

See also
Collection: 
Japanese Art
Department: 
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 
Metalwork
Medium: 
Gilt bronze

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