Votive tablet

Historical period(s)
Tang dynasty, or copy, 618-907, or later
H x W x D: 12.4 x 9.1 x 2.8 cm (4 7/8 x 3 9/16 x 1 1/8 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Ceremonial Object

Votive tablet

Buddhism, China, Tang dynasty (618 - 907)

To 1911
Unidentified owner, Honan-fu, China, to 1911 [1]

From 1911 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from an unidentified owner at Honan-fu in 1911 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 2101, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


The inscription on this Buddhist plaque identifies it s a special type of votive object that is said to have the ashes of cremated monks mixed into the clay. Such plaques were believed to help repel evil and attract auspiciousness; the text refers to achieving a blissful state known as "Paradise body." Many similar plaques have been excavated from temples dating to the Tang dynasty (618-907), where they may have been used to line the walls or serve as devotional objects.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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