Enquiry about object: 9091

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    Tibetan Bronze Vajrapani Tokcha

    circa 16th century

    height: 5.7cm, width: 5.4cm, weight: 51g



    private collection, UK

    – scroll down to see further images –

    This tokcha or Tibetan amulet is of cast bronze and is in trefoil form. It is decorated with three images of a deity, most probably Vajrapani, in three different poses.

    The reverse has three small flattened loops to allow the tokcha to be either attached to clothing, or to be used to secure bindings around a wrapped bundle of talismanic items that the user might have had attached to their body as a protective measure.

    The tokcha has great wear from ritual handling and a splendid, rich, dark chocolate patina.

    Tokcha or Thokcha is a term applied to small bronze or copper alloy talismanic forms worn in Tibet. The term tokcha derives from the Tibetan thog (thunderbolt) and Icags (iron or metal), so literally can be translated as ‘thunderbolt iron’ – according to belief, tokchas were formed when molten thunderbolts struck the earth and reacted forming the metal used to cast tokchas.

    Overall, this is a fine tokcha with very clear age.


    van Alphen, J., et alCast for Eternity: Bronze Masterworks from India and the Himalayas in Belgian and Dutch Collections, Antwerp Ethnographic Museum, 2005.

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