4435

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Hand-Held Cast Brass Dharmachakra Mace

Tibet
18th-19th century

length: 24.6cm, width: 12.4cm, weight: 1,110g

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Provenance

Estate of Stephen Masty (1954-2015)

This unusual mace topped with a chakra wheel most probably was held aloft by a Tibetan Buddhist monk or lama during rituals.

It has been cast from thick, heavy brass. The chakra wheel itself has been cast separately from the handle with the two being both soldered and pinned together.

The eight-spoked ‘golden’ wheel originally is a Hindu-Indian motif but was adopted by Buddhism as a symbol of the Buddha’s teachings. Wheels turn and so the emblem is associated with spiritual change. It represents the overcoming of obstacles and illusions. Buddha’s first discourse at Sarnath has become known as the ‘first turning of the wheel of truth (dharma)’.

The wheel here is surrounded by cast ‘flames’ or wisdom, which leap away from the wheel.

The item is in fine condition. It’s weight is particularly pleasing . The join between the wheel and the handle is visible and there is some small movement, but it is stable. It has a darkened, age-related patina.

Estate of Stephen Masty (1954-2015); see here for more information on Masty.

References

Beer, R., The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs, Serindia, 2004. :

 

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