Inventory no.: 3706

Five Copper Alloy & Brass Thokchas or Tokchas, Tibet, circa 15th-16th centuries


Five Copper Alloy & Brass Thokchas or Tokchas


circa 15th-16th centuries

heights: 4.0cm-5.5cm


are small talismans usually of bronze or copper alloy that Tibetans used to wear about their person to protect them and to absorb evil. Particularly effective or powerful tokchas would be sold on and passed down through the generations so that genuine and powerful tokchas should show a great deal of wear, as in the case of the examples here.

Among the

tokchas here is a small, well-worn tokcha shows Tara, the Buddhist goddess of protection. The goddess stands within a stupa. The remnants of a small lug to the reverse would have allowed the talisman to be worn as pendant or perhaps be sewn onto clothing.

There is also a brass example of Garuda above a

kirtimukha mask.

Another of the examples is the front half of a brass talismanic

ga’u box. Interestingly, this has been worn and used as a tokcha in its own right judging by its all over wear even though it is only a half of a box.


Bashkanov, M., M. Bashkanov, P. Petrov, & N. Serikoff, Arts from the Land of Timur: An Exhibition from a Scottish Private Collection, Sogdiana Books, 2012.

Heller, A.,

Early Himalayan Art, Ashmolean Museum, 2008.


UK art market

Inventory no.: 3706