Arthur Leeper, Los Angeles 
Anthony Carter, London, acquired from Arthur Leeper, to 1998 
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Anthony Carter in 1998
 According to Curatorial Note 3 in the object record.
 See note 1.
- Previous Owner(s)
This object draws attention to the frequent interaction and gift exchange between Tibet and China in the first half of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). This colorful cloisonne object was made for a Tibetan temple to serve as the base for a three-dimensional mandala, or cosmic diagram. Worshipers would pile grain on top of the base as a holy offering. The grain was arranged inside concentric iron rings to create a tiered tower.
The mandala base was made in China under imperial patronage as a gift for the emperor to give to visiting Tibetan lamas or prelates. The design features auspicious Buddhist symbols, including a stylized lotus flower and eight precious objects, such as a conch shell to represent the voice of Buddha and an umbrella to signify his spiritual authority.
- Published References
- Paths to Perfection, Buddhist Art at the Freer/Sackler. Washington, D.C. pp. 144-145.
- The Ceramics Cultural Heritage: Proceedings of the International SYmposium, "The Ceramics Heritage" of the 8th CIMTEC-World Ceramics Congress and Forum on New Materials. Florence, Italy. pp. 161-173.
- A Study of Three Cloisonne Enameled Bases for a Mandala in the Cleveland Museum of Art, The Freer Gallery of Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. no. 23, January 2007. p. 185.
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
- Rights Statement
Copyright with museum