This odd looking fruit, known as Buddha's Hand, is actually one of the oldest members of the citrus family. It is thought to resemble the fingers of Buddha, hence its name in Chinese, foshou, which has almost the same pronunciation as the words for blessings and longevity. Although it smells strongly of lemon, it has no pulp beneath its rind. Instead, Buddha's Hand is grown for its aromatic zest. Chinese and Japanese households use it as a natural air freshener, and it even has a place in Buddhistic ceremonies.
An elegant example of a Buddha's hand, the thumb and third finger making the gesture symbolic of imparting knowledge.
Buddha’s-Hand Citron, 1800s. China. Qing dynasty (1644-1911). Nephrite. The Avery Brundage Collection.
Ming Buddha's hand citron, 1368-1644.
Nephrite Buddha's hand citron, circa 1800-1900
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