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Japan

Pair of mounted bowls lacquer: 1680-1720, mounts: 1750-1775

Wood decorated in black and gold lacquer, mounted in gilt bronze | 31.7 x 39.6 x 38.1 cm (whole object) | RCIN 3154

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The lotus plants decorating the bowl on the left represent the seat of the meditating Buddha and signify enlightenment amid the swirling mist. Symbols of longevity on the right-hand bowl include cranes, evergreen pines and an ancient tortoise. Each bowl originally had wooden handles, which have been replaced by French gilt-bronze mounts depicting Bacchus, the Greco-Roman god of wine and pleasure.