altar piece (ritual & belief: ritual apparatus)

Altar piece, one of an altar set of the Eight Buddhist Emblems (ba ji xiang). Depicts the Conch Shell mounted on a lotus pedestal, constructed in two detachable parts. The lotus pedestal consists of a platform surrounded by multi-tiered overlapping lotus petals, raised on a tall stem embellished with four foliate scrolls, set atop a domed embellished base with sea waves, bands of cloud motifs and bosses, and a row of recurved petals at the bottom.The conch shell is used in Buddhist ritual to call for assembly. It symbolises the voice of the Buddha's teachings. Carved wood carved with red lacquer and gold pigment.

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