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    • Limestone Hands
    • Limestone Hands
    Limestone Hands

    Six Dynasties art from the Norman A. Kurland collection part one

    2 November - 25 November, 2017

    Click here to view Norman Kurland discussing his collection 

    This exhibition features a superb selection of Six Dynasties art (220 to 581 AD) assembled over four decades by Norman A. Kurland, a renowned film and television agent. His focused and scholarly eye has led him to form perhaps the best collection of Six Dynasties art in private hands. The thirty-eight pieces in the current exhibition, though limited primarily to the fifth and sixth centuries, range widely in material – stone sculptures, earthenware figures, gilt-bronze metalwork and glazed ceramics. Highlights include rare examples of Buddhist sculptures, both freestanding and those from imperially sponsored Buddhist cave temples such as Yungang and Gongxian and finely modelled earthenware tomb figures.

    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