Tibetan Ritual Objects

Above: A page from a manuscript from the dreams of the Fifth Dalai Lama.


Tsakli Paintings


Thogchags &

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1. Burlwood Incense Burner. 19th Century, China. Wonderful large burner made from one piece of burlwood. I don't know how they did it because it's not carved out but there are 3 little feet and two curved handles. 8.5" (21.5 cm) wide, 7.5" (19 cm) deep, 6.5" (16 cm.) high. SOLD.
2. Antique Leather Covered Prayer Wheel. Tibet, 19th century. 13" (33 cm.) high. Prayers encased in leather with brass fittings, a heavy metal weight, and a piece of shell to make it turn smoothly. Genuine old prayer wheels are hard to find. They are generally kept for a lifetime by their owners, then they are attached to the top of larger prayer wheels outside temples so the prayers will continue to rise as pilgrims make their circumambulations. $850.
4. Antique Ritual Mirror or Melong. Nepal. Early 20th century. Brass. Unusually large and finely cast, the four-tiered base supports a mirror surrounded by leaves and flowers. 14 1/2" (37 cm). $575.
5. Antique Sinamu Puja Box. Nepal. Early 20th century. Brass, bought as a set with the mirror above. Large with a beautifully cast base, the and tiered stupa top. 14 1/2" (37 cm). $525.
6. Antique Shell Mala. Length: 43" (109 cm.), bead diameter approx. 1 cm. Tibet. 106 beads. This is a beautiful mala, rare to find in Tibet because the shells must be traded from a long way away. Nice, small, fairly uniform beads. $325.
7. Large Ritual Lamp with Ganesh and Nagas. 19th century, Brass, Nepal. 7" high, 7" wide. Used for offerings and dedications, the lamp will be piled with rice and flower offerings, the five lamps filled with oil and offerings made to local or household gods. There is a small Ganesh figure at the back to ensure prosperity no matter which local god the offering is for. The nagas are smiling. $395.
8. Pair of Ritual Fire Spoons. Tibet, early 20th century. Longest spoon is 35 1/2" (90 cm.). Made from iron to be used during a fire ceremony. The round spoon is a receptacle; the other is used to pour the offering onto the fire. The spoons are thought of as male and female, the joining of wisdom and means. Each spoon unscrews in the middle, at the dragon's head. Collected in the 1930's in China; we bought them at an auction at Phillips in NYC in the 1990s. $3,500.
9. Mongolian Gau with Painting. 19th century. 4" x 4 1/2" x 7/8" thick (10 cm. x 11.5 cm x 2 cm.) Brass front with copper sides and back. Inside is a delicate (although worn) painting on cloth of Tshong Khapa with a Gelukpa lama on either side. The details in the painting are highlighted in gold. $350.
10. 18th Century Tibetan Bell. Height: 7" (18 cm.) The bronze bell has a brass handle with a 9 pronged dorje and the face of Prajnaparamita, the perfection of Wisdom. Around the top of the bell is a sacred mantra in the leaves of a lotus. The bell itself is decorated with a pattern of chakras and a ring of dorjes. The bell has a fine deep tone. SOLD.
11. Shaman's Amulet Necklace. Nepal. 36" (91 cm.) long, the amulet itself is 3 1/4" (8 cm) long and 1 1/2" (4 cm.) in diameter. A heavy iron chain holding an iron amulet case with a flower-shaped clasp at one end. This is a very old piece with the individual links of the chain showing a lot of wear. The sealed amulet case probably contains the original prayer scroll but it is impossible to open. SOLD
12. Inscribed Temple Bell. 4 1/2" (11.4 cm.) high. 19th Century Nepal. A very old bell inscribed on the rim with a name and a date that I can't read. The bell is encrusted with dirt, smoke and oil from use in the temple. $175.
13. 19th Century Ritual Crown. Nepal, Copper and brass with some gilding. Height from bottom of ear flap to tip: 13" (33 cm.) Height from back of crown to tip of dorje: 9 1/2" (24 cm.) The five Adi Buddhas are set in a repousee frieze around the front and sides; smaller medallions of bodhisattvas and the 3 jewels decorate the rest. Similar crowns have been worn by Buddhist priests in religious rituals dating as far back as the 12th century. $950.
14. Five Buddha Conch Shell Trumpet. Nepal. Contemporary. 9 1/2" (24 cm.) long. Beautifully carved figures in a leaf and lotus petal ground. $450.
15. 18th - 19th C. Shaman's Bells. Nepal. 17 round iron bells, 1 1/2" (4 cm.) in diameter, and one larger (3 1/2", 9 cm.) well patinated bronze temple bell. Strung on a hand-made iron chain, this necklace was worn by a shaman in the Himalayas in a dance to awaken the gods. Wonderful sound. E-mail us to request a sound clip. SOLD.
16. 19th Century Temple Bell with Hanuman and Garuda. Height: 9" (23 cm.) Nepal, brass. With two images of Hanuman and one Garuda under a protective umbrella of nagas. Bells like this are still used in temples in Nepal today, although this is unusual because of the two Hanuman images. E-mail us for a sound clip. $275.
17. Large Temple Bell Nepal, Early 20th century. Bronze, 9" (22 cm.) high, 5 3/4" in diameter. Decorated with lotus flowers and with traces of a worn inscription on the rim. Weighs 7 lbs. $750.
18. 19th C. Shaman's Drum. Nepal, Wood with leather. With a very simply carved handle, well worn to a beautiful patina. Also with a fine, resonant sound; the drum can either be played with a stick or shaken for the sound created by the small stones inside. Length 27" (68 cm.), diameter 13" (32 cm.) SOLD.
19. Sukunda Oil Lamp Nepal,19th century. Brass, 5 1/2" (14 cm.) tall, 7 1/4" (19 cm.) from handle to lamp. The sukunda is both a pot for holding oil and a lamp for burning. The flame burns in front of an image of Ganesh, remover of obstacles, while a small Buddha figure under a protective umbrella of nagas, sits above the pot of oil. Two lions guard either side of the flame. $165.
20. Small Mahakala Gau Mongolia, 19th century. Brass and copper, 1 3/4" (4.5 cm.) high, 1 1/2" (3.5 cm) wide. This pretty little gau has a glass front over a miniature painting of Mahakala. SOLD.
21. Larage Sukunda with Monkey Nepal, mid-20th century. 7 1/2" (19 cm.) high. Brass. The oil pot is in the shape of a lotus flower, the spoon handle is a peacock and the flame burns before a figure of Ganesh and between two guardian lions. The handle is a monkey. $375.
22. Yao Hilltribe Shaman's Skirt China, mid-20th century. Silk with cotton lining and waistband. Length of waistband 47" (120 cm.), from top of waistband to hem 37 1/2" (94 cm.), measurement along the hem 97" (246 cm.). Two panels embroidered with a lion, phoenix, books and a vase. Hand stitched, the two main panels were once edged with black silk, now worn away. $375.
23. Yao Hilltribe Shaman's Staff China, 19th Century. 41" (104 cm.) long. Wood inlaid with metal -- possibly tin. With an iron spike at the bottom, the staff is planted in front of the door of a priest's house during rituals to ward of evil spirits. $500.
24. Pair of Ritual Fire Spoons Tibet, early 20th Century. Longest spoon is 35 1/2" (90 cm.), made from copper with silver plate. Used during a fire sacrifice to invoke the gods on important occasions. The round spoon is a receptacle; the other is used to pour the offering into the fire. According to the Tantric idea of the inseparability of male and female principles, the spoons are thought of as female and male, the joining of wisdom and means. Each spoon unscrews in the middle, at the dragon's head. SOLD.
25. Top of a Necromancer's Bone Apron. Tibet, 17th-18th Century, some of the small pieces are newer. 24" (61 cm.) across, the longest piece is 6 1/4" (16 cm.) and the shortest is 5 1/2" (14 cm.) The second and last of the long pieces have been broken and repaired and the entire piece has been restrung. $6,500.
26. Shaman's Bells with Many Amulets. Nepal, 19th Century. 40" (102 cm.) long chain with 56 old bells in brass and iron with at least seven iron amulets -- sun and moon disks, a trident and other shapes. The bells are collected from temples, yaks and Indian trains and strung on a hand-made iron chain. All together they make a wonderful sound and this is the best chain of these I've seen. To hear the sound of the bells click here. The round iron bells are 1 1/2" (4 cm.) in diameter. SOLD.
27. Old Mala with Claw, Shell and Zip. Tibet. 25" (64 cm.) 108 coconut shell beads on a leather string, with conch shell and red glass. One counter is copper, with a dorje; the other is brass and decorated with a leopard claw, a shell, part of a zipper and a piece of plastic. Other embellishments include a stone bead and a shell disk. The central bead has a piece of metal onto which a thogchags or other prized item could be fixed. SOLD.
28. Old Tsa Tsa Stupa Mold. Tibet. 3 1/4" (8.5 cm.) tall. Tibet. Worn patina but still usable, making a cone shaped stupa with a Tibetan inscription. Little clay tsa tsas are found at sacred sites all over Tibet. SOLD.
29. Guru Rinpoche Tsa Tsa Stupa Mold. Tibet. 1 1/2" (4 cm.) tall, 1 1/4" (3.5 cm.) wide. Tibet, bronze. A very old piece with a lot of wear. SOLD.
30. Ritual Spoon. 5 3/4" (15 cm.) long. 19th century Nepal, bronze. For filling butter lamps. A nice deep bowl with the handle in the shape of a naga head. SOLD.
31. 18th - 19th Century Bell and Dorje. Height: 7 1/4" (18.5 cm.), Length of dorje: 5" (12.5 cm). Symbolizing the union of compassion and wisdom, male and female, the two paths to enlightenment. With a well worn brass 9 pronged top, a sacred mantra in the leaves of the lotus around the stem and a ring of small dorjes around the bottom. With matching 9 prong dorje; its hard to find a true pair like this now. Nice sweet tone - e-mail us for a sound clip. SOLD.

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