Antique head ornaments

Woman’s head ornament, Tibet, silver, turquoise, coral, brass, private collection, photo by Lempertz.

Tibetan women traditionally wore in their headdress a round silver ornament inlaid with turquoise and coral and decorated with an embossed pattern (or several). It is unusual for this object to be decorated with skulls.

Same as before, without brass.

 

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Torgam doors with Mahakala

18th-19th century, painted raised gesso on wood, private collection.

18th-19th century, painted raised gesso on wood, private collection.

A torgam is a sort of cupboard used to keep offerings to wrathful deities made of butter and flour called tormas. The doors above depict Mahakala, some cups made of human skulls resting on three skulls, containing tormas and other offerings (see below).

19th century, same as before.

19th century, same as before.

The above skull cups both contain offerings related to the five senses (eyes, ears, heart, nose, tongue).

19th century, painted wood, private collection.

19th century, painted wood, private collection.