The carving of stones stems from a tradition long practiced in Japan. Stones are an essential facet of Japanese art and design, regarded alongside the highest forms of painting or ceramic arts. Stones are old and silent, pregnant with a melancholy feeling, but that doesn't mean they don't speak. It takes time and a deep sensitivity to allow an understanding of stones to stir within us. They will remain flat and impenetrable to a mind prone to restlessness, but they will reveal themselves to a calm mind.
This piece is a top piece called Hoju of a stone Pagoda. It was carved in late 16th century and is the only part left of a larger piece. The Hoju is carved in the shape of a lotus bud, and we can assess the date from how the bottom petal has a single petal versus double petals seen in later pieces.
Imagine seeing it on a long, narrow, mid-century Danish table situated at your house's entrance foyer. It will command the space as well as welcome your guests quietly and kindly.