Tibetan Silver from the Collection of Julian Sands
This spectacular group of silver ceremonial vessels, recently donated to LACMA by Julian Sands, originally graced Tibetan Buddhist altars. The ewer, called "Monk's Hat" after the distinctive caps worn by some Tibetan Buddhist monks, is used to pour sanctified water into offering bowls; the censer is used for the ritualized burning of incense. The offering bowls, elegant in their formal simplicity and resplendence, are adorned with cusped cartouches that contain a stylized representation of the Chinese character for longevity (shou) combined with auspicious swastikas, an ancient pan-Asian solar motif. The exquisite gold and silver filigree fittings on the vase suggest it was made in Tibet by a Newar artist, as this major Nepalese ethnic group was known for the finest metalworking. Together, these outstanding ritual vessels augment the museum’s holdings of Himalayan metalware.
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Image: 'Monk's Hat' Ewer, Tibet, late 19th century, Parcel-gilt silver repoussé, 9 3/8 x 8 3/4 x 6 1/2 in. (23.81 x 22.23 x 16.51 cm), Gift of Julian Sands, M.2011.157.1.