Exquisitely modelled and polished to a smooth yet highly tactile finish, the present piece is an impressive display of the technical expertise of craftsmen working during the Qianlong period. Compare further examples of finger citron, such as one in the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, illustrated in James C.Y. Watt, Chinese Jades from the Collection of the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, 1989, pl. 79; another in the Alan and Simone Hartman collection, illustrated in Robert Kleiner, Chinese Jades from the Collection of Alan and Simone Hartman, Hong Kong, 1996, pl. 202; and a third example sold at Christie's New York, 15th September 2009, lot 134.
The Buddha's hand citron, which takes its name from the shape of its fruit that resembles the idealised digiform fingers of the Buddha, has a strong fragrance and is used as an altar offering during the New Year celebration. The first character of its name, fo, is a pun for fu ('blessings' and 'riches'), while the second character, shou, is homophonous for longevity.
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