Artist/maker unknown, Chinese
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Pagodas are used to mark the burial site of Buddhist relics or the tomb of a Buddhist monk. This carving, modeled after a pagoda, was commissioned by the Qianlong emperor (reigned 1736-95) for a hall located in the imperial park in Beijing. One inscription around the lower middle section of the pagoda says, "I humbly trust myself to Amituofo," and another along the rim of the base states, "Qianlong period of the great Qing dynasty." On the underside of the base is a carved mark that means "Hall of Receiving Light" (Chengguang dian), referring to the building that housed this carving.