Bronze handle terminates in a symbolic thunderbolt and lower part of the handle is cast in the form of a “makara” (mythical sea creature) whose open mouth and exposed fangs form part of the element for securing the disk-like blade, the upper-side of which is encased in bronze. The handle has a slightly mottled brownish patina with some small areas of verdigris near one end of the part encasing the blade. The blade is considerably oxidized on both sides and is dull and probably never sharp because it was used in a ritual representing the flaying of flesh and not for the actual purpose. The flayer or chopper is often seen in Tibetan Buddhist sculpture, carried in the hands and brandished by angry deities. The symbolic purpose was to chop up disbelievers, but more significantly, it was considered to be the instrument for cutting through the fog of spiritual ignorance.
Height: 6 7/8 in.; Width: 6 ¾ in.
This pear-shaped vase, intended as a base for a hookah, is overlaid in an elaborate design of thin silver damascene work comprising four panels of stylized floral motifs encircling the main lower portion and continuing around the mouth. The larger work is separated by horizontal bands of leaves and abstract flowers. Though some of the silver remains intact on the larger floral panels, much has been worn away through use, leaving silver outlines on most of the designs. It retains its original patina and the overall condition is good, having no dents or repairs.
Height: 8 ¾ in., Widest diameter: 4 in.
This high relief silver repousse prayer cylinder is mounted on a wooden handle with silver mounts at the top and bottom. The repousse displays three seated Buddha images among dragons and other Buddhist elements. It is topped with a silver umbrella and ball-shaped finial. Attached to the side by a short chain is a lead weight that promotes the spinning around the steel shaft mounted in the wooden handle. Both the finial and the cylinder lid are removable to be able to hold a written prayer. It currently retains its old woodblock printed prayer. It is in good working condition. The silver weight is approximately 196 grams (6.9 ounces).
Length 11 ¼ in., Diameter: 3 ¼ in.
This trumpet has a dragon head that is formed from sheet brass with overall repousse work to create scales and a mane. The horns and the long whiskers are separately applied. A long flat tongue of sheet brass or copper extends through the mouth. The dragon head is joined to the tapering trumpet with a bulbous silver repousse element having bands of silver leaves on both sides. The copper portion extends from the silver band of leaves and ends in another band of silver, at which point the chain is attached. The final portion of the tapered tube is brass, ending in the copper mouth piece. It is in good working condition, and has an old unpolished patina.
Length 16 ¼ in., Width: 2 ¾ in. across the horns
This representation of the female deity in seated position retains its old brown patina with areas of verdigris both on the exterior of the image as well as the interior of the base. The overall condition is very good with some minor wear but no apparent damages. Acquired from a Chapel Hill, NC estate, originally collected in the 1930s.
Height: 3 ½ in.. Width: 2 5/8 in.
Decorated under the glaze with stylized patterns and concentric circles in iron oxide. Skillfully wheel-thrown and rests on a slightly flaring foot. Well-formed lid is surmounted by a circular knop with a yellowish-brown iron glaze. The interior and foot are unglazed. There are minor areas of glaze degradation on the top of the lid from burial. Some minor wear, small old chips to the interior lip of the bowl. Some evidence of burial earth remaining.
Diameter: 4 in., Height: 4 in.