Important Cultural PropertyGilt bronze lotus-flower arabesque stand for vajra rituals

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  • 1 piece
  • Gilt bronze
  • L16.8 W24.7 H3.2
  • Heian period/12th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • E-19830

Kongoban is a tray on which a kongorei (a bell) and a kongosho (a short club) are placed. It has an irregular quarter leaf shape and there is boar’s eye-like openwork on the right and left sides of the back middle leaf. Three thin legs are fastened with an elaborate technique. On the top surface, a big lotus leaf pattern is applied to the back leaf while a pair of relatively small lotus leaf patterns is applied to the right and left front leaves via plowed out carving. Another arabesque pattern is applied to the rim of the tray. The plowed out carving that deeply cuts off the rim of the pattern is powerful and serves to etch the pattern, producing a relief-like effect despite line engraving. If the lotus fruit of the central flower were transformed to stamens and a pistil, the pattern would become a hosoge (a floral motif comprising images of different flowers), suggesting a high level of formalization applied to this work.