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RITUAL HOOK

Place of Origin: Tibet

Date: 17th -18th Century

Overall Length: 120mm (4 ¾ Inches)

Reference: 415

Status: Available

Full Description:

Originally, this iron hook, probably dating from the 17th or 18th century, would have accompanied a rope noose (or pāśa in Sanskrit) to form a Tibetan ritual object used to capture harmful spirits.[1] The ring and main surface of the hook are inlaid with stylised flames in gold and silver, the faceted moulding that attaches them inlaid with four-petalled flowerheads in gold.

A ferrule preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Accession Number 1999.256a, b)[2] and also dating to the 17th-18th century is remarkably similar in both construction and decoration, and helps to contextualise the present piece.[3]

 

[1] See Michael Henss (2020), Buddhist Ritual Art of Tibet: A Handbook on Ceremonial Objects and Furnishings in the Tibetan Temple, Arnoldsche Art Publishers, p.220.

[3] For a discussion see Donald LaRocca (2006), Warriors of the Himalayas: Rediscovering the Arms and Armour of Tibet, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, p.179, No. 82.

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