Ritual Silver & Gilt Five Skull Oracle’s Crown
height: 20cm, diameter: 22cm
This silver and gilt oracle’s crown is decorated with turquoise and coral cabochons. The silverwork is richly tooled and the interior of the crown is fitted with a textile-covered cushioning.
Crowns such as these were worn by Tibetan oracles whilst performing trances.
Figures of bodhisattvas in their wrathful form also often are depicted wearing this type of five-skull headdress, with each skull representing one of the five ‘wisdom’ buddhas, the so called Five Dhyani Buddhas. Similar crowns also were used in Mongolia.
Earlier examples include lot 127 in Sotheby’s New York, ‘Indian & Southeast Asian Art’, March 24, 2004; and Sotheby’s New York, ‘Indian, Himalayan, Southeast Asian Art and Indian Miniatures’, September 20, 1985.
Mongolian Arts and Crafts, State Publishing House, Ulan-Bator, 1987.
UK art market. (Bonhams London, ‘Islamic and Indian Art’, July 5, 2006, lot 368.)
Inventory no.: 965
A Tibetan oracle with an oracle’s crown and chest mirror.