An Erstwhile Collection of
Tibetan Statues and Ritual Objects
 

The Tibetan objects in this collection were acquired by a private collector travelling in India and Nepal in the 1970s. He spent several years there, often staying at Tibetan monasteries. Some of these objects were bought from Tibetan monks and some were bought in bazaars in Manali, Kathmandu, Delhi, Darjeeling and elsewhere.

Due to insufficiency of funds in late 2006 to cover living expenses, the collector was obliged to sell these items. They were all sold during 2007 (none are still for sale), to several different people, so this collection no longer exists. As the Buddha said, all compounded things (especially art collections) are impermanent.

These images were uploaded to this Serendipity website on September 7, 2010.

  1. Gilded bronze figure of Akshobya
  2. Bronze figure of Vajrakila (Dorje Phurba)
  3. Bronze figure of Vajradhara
  4. Small bronze of Vajrayogini
  5. Gilded prayer wheel
  6. Phurba
  7. Bell & Vajra
  8. Damaru
  9. Vajravarahi (Dorje Phagmo)
  10. Manjushri
  11. Padma Sambhava
  12. Wolf-headed deity
  13. Temple decoration
  14. Bone mala
  15. Stone mala
  16. Bodhi seed mala
  17. 3 khatas
  18. Silver buckle
  19. Bell & vajra pendant
  20. Four amulets
  21. Sandalwood buddha
  22. Ivory Buddha #1
  23. Ivory Buddha #2
  24. Embroidered double vajra
  25. Small cymbals

1.  Image of the Dhyani Buddha Akshobhya

This is an image of one of the five Dhyani Buddhas (Amitabha, etc.), all of whom are adorned with fine robes and jewels. Face and hair painted. Detailed metalwork in robe.

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Size: 21 cm (8.3") high
Material: gilded bronze
2.  Image of the Tantric Deity Vajrakila with Consort

Vajrakila is the Sanskrit name; Dorje Phurba in Tibetan. Principally a Nyingmapa deity; also practiced by the Sakyapas. Statues of Vajrakila are rare.

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Size: 25 cm (9.8") high, 20 cm (7.9") wide
Material: darkened bronze
3.  Vajradhara

Vajradhara is the supreme Buddha in Vajrayana Buddhism. Shown holding bell and vajra.

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Size: 17 cm (7.1") high, 12 cm (4.7") wide
Material: bronze
4.  Vajrayogini (Dorje Naljorma)

A deity common to Sakyapa, Gelugpa and Kargyupa traditions. The dakini who taught Naropa. Shown holding knife and skullcup, wearing a garland of skulls and surrounded by flames.

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Size: 7.3 cm (2.9") high, 6.2 cm (2.4") wide.
Material: bronze
5.  Prayer Wheel

An unusually finely worked prayer wheel, gilded. 'Om mani padme hum' inscribed on the wheel in Sanskrit and Tibetan, plus the eight auspicious symbols.

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Size: prayer wheel 7.7 cm (3") in diameter; with handle is 32 cm (12.6") high
Material: gilded metal, conch shell, copper, bronze, wood
6.  Phurba

A tantric ritual instrument like a spike, for skewering demons. This is the instrument held by the deity Dorje Phurba (above).

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Size: 29 cm (11.4")
Material: heavy metal (probably iron)
7.  Bell and Vajra

Nine-pronged bell and vajra, used by Nyingmapa ngakpas (yogis). The nine prongs symbolize the nine yanas of the Nyingmapa tradition.

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Size: bell 16 cm (6.3") high, 9 cm (3.5") wide; vajra 11.5 cm (4.5")
Material: metal
8.  Damaru

Drum made from human skulls and skin. Coral and turquoise stones. Long tassel made of silk. Seems to be old.

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Size: drum head 10.7 cm (4.5") by 8.5 (3.5") cm; with silk tassel, 85 cm (33")
Material: bone, metal, cloth
9.  Vajravarahi (Dorje Phagmo)

Dorje Phagmo is a dakini. Her images, including this one, have a small pig's head in her hair. She carries a knife and skullcup.

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Size: 15 cm (5.9")
Weight: 84 g (2.7 oz)
Material: bone
10.  Manjushri

Manjushri is the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, always shown holding the sword which eliminates delusion.

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Size: 5.3 cm (2.1")
Weight: 100 g (3.2 oz)
Material: bronze
11.  Padma Sambhava with consorts

Padma Sambhava took Tantric Buddhism to Tibet. He is depicted here with his two wives. The statue seems quite old.

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Size: 11 cm (4.3")
Material: bronze
12.  Wolf-headed Deity with Consort

Such an image is rare. The name of this deity is unknown.

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Size: 13 cm (5.1")
Material: bronze
13.  Temple Decoration

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Size: 52 cm (20")
Weight: 29 g (1 oz)
Material: embroidered silk
14.  Bone Mala

108 beads with a small skull image at the top. For practice with wrathful deities.

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Size: Total length is 67 cm (26"). Each bead is 1.2 cm (½") in diameter.
Material: bone
15.  Soapstone Mala

108 beads, with a pair of metallic mantra recitation counters

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Size: Total length is 104 cm (41"). Each bead is 1.0 cm (0.4") in diameter.
Material: soapstone
16.  Bodhi seed mala

108 beads, with a pair of metallic mantra recitation counters

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Size: Total length is 74 cm (29"). Each bead is 0.7 cm (0.3") in diameter.
Material: bodhi seeds
17.  Khatas

Three ceremonial khatas, two of silk and one of cotton (with blue fringes).

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Size: Top down: 150 cm x 64 cm (59" x 25"), 173 cm x 61 cm (68" x 24", 180 cm x 27 cm (71" x 11")
Material: silk (2) and cotton (1)
18.  Silver Buckle

This is a buckle used with a Tibetan woman's dress.

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Size: 10 cm x 8 cm (4" x 3")
Weight: 164 g.
Material: silver
19.  Bell & vajra pendant

Jewelry. Suitable to be worn as a pendant. Both sides have small piece of coral.

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Size: 3.5 cm wide x 3.8 cm high (1.4" x 1.5").
Weight: 10 grams
Material: silver (tin? alloy?) plus coral.
20.  Four Amulets

These are Chinese and Thai. Top left is Padma Sambhava (Chinese characters on front, Tibetan on back). Top right is a Chinese buddha or sage. Bottom left is a Thai monk. Bottom right is Shakyamuni Buddha.

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Size: Each approximately 3 cm (1") wide.
Material: metal and plastic
21.  Sandalwood buddha

A sandalwood image of Shakyamuni Buddha with vitarka mudra.

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Size: 10 cm x 6 cm (4" x 2")
Material: Sandalwood image on wooden base.
22.  Ivory Buddha #1

Shakyamuni Buddha with vitarka mudra. A finely worked carving from South India.

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Size: 8.1 cm wide x 10.4 cm high (3.2" x 4.1")
Weight: 124 g (4.3 oz)
Material: ivory on wood base
23.  Ivory Buddha #2

Shakyamuni Buddha with dharmacakra mudra. Another finely worked carving from India.

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Size: 5.4 cm wide x 9.8 cm high (2.1" x 3.9")
Weight: 51 g (1.8 oz)
Material: ivory on wood base
24.  Embroidered Double Vajra

Embroidery done in Kathmandu in the 1970s. Made using a pedal-driven Singer sewing machine.

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Size: Embroidered area is 10" in diameter.
Material: embroidered silk
25.  Small Cymbals

In Tibetan: drilbu. Musical instrument.

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Size: each cymbal 7.5 cm (3") in diameter
Material: metal

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