painting / banner / 繪畫 / 幡
A banner showing the seven treasures of the cakravartin (world sovereign): the golden wheel, jewel, coffer, general, lady, elephant and horse. Seven blank carotuches. Painted in ink and colours on silk.
- Excavated/Findspot: Qian Fo Dong, Ch.xxvi.a.004 (from Cave 17 at Ch’ien Fo Tung (pinyin: Qian Fo Dong))
- (Asia,China,Gansu (province),Dunhuang,Qian Fo Dong (Caves of the Thousand Buddhas))
- Excavated/Findspot: 千佛洞
- Height: 62.5 centimetres
- Width: 20 centimetres
This banner follows a format similar to those depicting events from the Life, and, as we have seen (Pl.32), the Seven Treasures are also on occasion shown alongside those events. As defined by Alice Getty (1962,p.194), the Seven Treasures are:
1, the golden wheel believed to fall from heaven on the investiture of a ‘Wheel King’,symbol of Perfection of the Law; 2, a precious stone (māni),symbol of the accomplishment of wishes; 3, a royal consort (a noblewoman) symbolizes the ‘calming caress’; 4, the best horse (a white horse), symbol of prompt success in the acquisition of the qualities of the Buddha; 5, the best elephant, as bearer of 84,000 sacred books, symbolizes the infinite propagation of the religion; 6, the best treasurer (civil offcer), who by his generosity removes poverty, and by his justice assures the well-being of people; 7, the best leader (military chief), who with his sword of wisdom repels the enemies.
As can be seen from the paintings, the content as the order may vary slightly. Here, as in the Pelliot painting (Bannières, No.6), the Treasurer is replaced by a rectangular coffer; in Pl.32 both the Treasurer and the Coffer are shown, and the precious jewel is not separately represented, so that the total is still seven. It almost seems that the Chinese predilection for symmetry is the decisive factor, especially in the Pelliot painting where the Wheel is flanked by the Consort and the General, then by the Elephant and the Horse, and finally by the Coffer and the Jewel.
seven blank cartouches accompany the treasures, which are set in a minimal landscape. The style is quite similar to that of Pls.36, 37 and 39.此幡與我們所見的圖32中的那些描寫事件的幡採用相似的形式。七寶也不時出現在那些事件的旁邊，根據Alice Getty的定義(1962,p.194)，七寶是：
For full acquisition history, see 1919,0101,0.1.
- Ch.xxvi.a.004 (Stein no.)
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Object reference number: RFC706
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