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  • Limestone Hands

    Past Highlights: Limestone Hands

    Northern Qi period, 550 - 577 
    Xiangtangshan cave temples, Hebei province

    This monumental pair of hands holding a reliquary, sensuously carved in brownish limestone, are now known to have originated from the imperially sponsored ‘Shakyamuni Cave’ at the Xiangtangshan cave temples, Hebei province, China. The hands belonged to the figure of Kashyapa, Buddha’s oldest disciple, carved standing to the left of the main figure of Buddha inside the cave. After Buddha’s funeral, his ashes were divided into eight portions and carried by his disciples to be enshrined in eight stupas: Kashyapa personally carried a share, presumably in a reliquary, to the King of Magada.

    Height: 36.6cm