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Ritual bell and cover

18th century


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    18th century
    Media categories
    Metalwork , Sculpture
    Materials used
    brass bell; cover: woven cane with leather tie
    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.

    Gift of J A and H D Sperling 2000
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • 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

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition