File:Tibetan - A Ritual Box - Walters 572299 - Top.jpg

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Anonymous (Tibet)
Unknown author
A Ritual Box
English: The surfaces of this silver and gilt box are richly embellished with symbols and mantras associated with the destruction of malevolent spirits. On the front is a symbolic representation of the protective female deity Lhamo. The precise function of the box within a ritual context is unknown, but it may have served as a storage container for other esoteric objects used within a tantric ritual. The inclusion of skulls as border motifs and the manacled creatures at either end are suggestive of both protection of the contents and the use of the box in purifying rites or exorcisms. The inscriptions include spells using Sanskrit words and Tibetan curses, such as, "May its voice sink in darkness and dissolve." Part of the ritual seems to have involved capturing the spirit, and part, subduing it. There may also be references to yogic activities, such as controlled-breathing exercises. The complexity of the decoration is indicative of a date in the 18th century, making this a relatively late example of the Tibetan tantric tradition.
Date 18th century
date QS:P571,+1750-00-00T00:00:00Z/7
Medium silver with gilding and turquoise
Dimensions Height: 30.5 cm (12 ″); Width: 30.5 cm (12 ″); Depth: 15.2 cm (5.9 ″)
dimensions QS:P2048,30.5U174728;P2049,30.5U174728;P5524,15.2U174728
institution QS:P195,Q210081
Accession number
Place of creation Tibet
Object history
  • Kathmandu, Nepal [date and mode of acquisition unknown]
  • John and Berthe Ford, Baltimore, Winter 1983, by purchase
  • : given to Walters Art Museum
Exhibition history Desire and Devotion: Art from India, Nepal, and Tibet in the John and Berthe Ford Collection. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara; Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque. 2001-2003.
Credit line gift of John and Berthe Ford,
Source Walters Art Museum: Nuvola filesystems folder home.svg Home page Information icon.svg Info about artwork
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current04:33, 22 March 2012Thumbnail for version as of 04:33, 22 March 20121,150 × 768 (251 KB)File Upload Bot (Kaldari) (talk | contribs)== {{int:filedesc}} == {{Walters Art Museum artwork |artist = Tibetan |title = ''A Ritual Box'' |description = {{en|The surfaces of this silver and gilt box are richly embellished with symbols and mantras associated with the ...
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