Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gift From The Buddhist Antique Dealer

Tim runs an antique shop on Hemlock Street, by the corner of Silver. He's a kindly man with a short white beard, always wearing a kufi-style cap, or perhaps the Mongolian version of it. Tim lived in China for a while and is something of a scholar, has taught Chinese studies, and has been making noises about retiring to China once and for all.

Gabriel and I paid a visit to him last week and noticed that his prices, generally out of my reach, have been reduced. "Getting rid of everything," he confirmed. "I've been accepted at a monastery in China, I just have to clear out my inventory and raise money."

Tim's a Buddhist, so we had much to talk about as we crept softly around his tightly-packed little store, hung with old thangkas and chests with exquisite old clasps, statues of various Chinese figures and buddhas.

A moment after we left, while I gave Gabriel a sip of his pear-juice and water and congratulated him on being so wonderful in the store, Tim came out in pursuit of me. He pressed a gift into my hand. Here is what he gave me:

click on it for a larger view

This small buddha statue is hundreds of years old, and was once sheathed in silver -- there are some remains of it. The head was chopped off during the Cultural Revolution, when the Red Guard decapitated every buddha image they could find.

3 comments:

Kelly said...

What a treasure! One I'm sure you will cherish.

quid said...

An amazing relic. Gabriel can pass it on to his children, along with the story of the man who gave it to his papa.

quid

Ji Hyang said...

beautiful...