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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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figure

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF.497

  • Description

    Dehua ware porcelain figure of seated Budai Heshang, leaning against his hempen bag full of treasures. He is barefooted, has elongated ear lobes and has an 'ushnisha' (a fleshy lump on the top of his head, one of the 32 marks of Buddahood). The figure has a white body.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 19thC
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 155 millimetres
    • Width: 193 millimetres
    • Depth: 153 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Seal
      • Inscription Position

        On the back
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        海濟
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Hai Ji
      • Inscription Comment

        On the back the seal 'Hai Ji'
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : 17th centuryRoom 95 label text:

    PDF 497

    Figure of seated Budai Heshang


    Potters made this porcelain figure with in a mould which could be reused to make other figures. It is a representation of 布袋和尚 (Budai heshang ‘cloth sack monk’). He is generally depicted as here with a smiling face, elongated ear lobes and a fat protruding belly. He generally holds rosary beads and carries a cloth bag. He is also known as the laughing Buddha. He is in fact 彌勒佛 (Maitreya ‘the Buddha of the future’). On the back is a mark which has been read as海濟 Hai Ji.


    Porcelain moulded and carved with transparent glaze
    Dehua ware 德化窯
    Dehua, Fujian province 德化, 福建省
    Qing dynasty, about AD 1800–1900

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1975 Monochrome pl. 201 bibliographic details
    • Hobson 1934 p. 157, pl. CLVI bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case35/sh1

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    PDF card: acquired before 1934.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF.497

Fine white Dehua porcelain figure of seated Budai Heshang, leaning against his hempen bag full of treasures.  He is barefooted, has elongated ear lobes and has an 'ushnisha' (a fleshy lump on the top of his head, one of the 32 marks of Buddahood).

Fine white Dehua porcelain figure of seated Budai Heshang, leaning against his hempen bag full of treasures. He is barefooted, has elongated ear lobes and has an 'ushnisha' (a fleshy lump on the top of his head, one of the 32 marks of Buddahood).

Copyright SOAS All rights reserved

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Object reference number: RRC38844

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