Tibetan Silver, Coral, Turquoise and Shagreen Ceremonial Skinning Knife

Tibetan Silver, Coral, Turquoise and Shagreen Ceremonial Skinning Knife

1800 to 1900 Tibet

Offered by Finch & Co

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A Tibetan Silver, Coral, Turquoise and Shagreen Ceremonial Skinning Knife
With a handle of human bone inset with steel, copper, brass and ebony
19th Century

Size: 17cm long – 6¾ ins long
Provenance: Ex London Private collection

To the Buddhist time and death are not simply agents of final destruction, but represent the transformation, which the ending of one life brings as a prelude to opportunities in the next. Thus the true Buddhist must face up to and accept the natural fear and horror, which everyone feels at presence of death, and realise the illusory nature of ‘end’ as well as the ‘beginning’ of self and material things.
In Tibet human bones are used for all kinds of implements, cups and drums are made from skulls, trumpets from thighbones and aprons and necklaces are made from the smaller pieces of bone. Human skin is used for drumheads and other parts of ritual costume. The ritual of flaying is a symbol of the stripping away of the false skin of self hood.
Medium
Silver, Coral, Turquoise and Shagreen
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