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Title

Ritual bell and cover

18th century


Artists

Unknown Artist


About

The bell and thunderbolt (Tibetan: 'dorje'; Sanskrit: 'vajra') are the two most important instruments in Tibetan Tantric (Vajrayana) Buddhist ritual. The 'dorje' (thunderbolt) represents the idea of skill and is thought of as masculine in Tibetan Buddhism. The bell is regarded as feminine and represents supreme wisdom. Here, the bell's handle combines half a thunderbolt shape and the head of the goddess Prajna, who represents wisdom. The top of the bell is inscribed with the petals of a lotus and the body is decorated with a design of jewel-spitting heads called 'kala' (time). A band of thunderbolts at the bottom of the bell completes the design.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, December 2011


Details


Place where the work was made

Tibet


Date

18th century


Media categories

Metalwork , Sculpture


Materials used

brass bell; cover: woven cane with leather tie


Dimensions

21.5 x 10.4 cm :

a - bell; 21.5 x 8.5 cm

b - cover; 17.6 x 10.4 cm


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Gift of J A and H D Sperling 2000


Accession number

146.2000.a-b



Place

Where the work was made
Tibet

Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history