From my 2015 catalogue, this is one of my most unusual and important discoveries, a 17/18th century ritual spear from Tibet:
An important five-bladed spearhead from Tibet which matches the description of a spear in Nebesky-Wojkowitz’s classic book, Oracles and Demons of Tibet: The Cult and Iconography of the Tibetan Protective Deities. Page 15 contains a discussion of weapons carried by protective deities and the list contains ‘the lance with five points’. There appears to be no other similar spear known and it is plausible that this is the one mentioned by Nebesky-Wojkowitz. It was probably made to place in the chapel of a protective deity, where arms and armour were often deposited as votive objects. Nebesky-Wojkowitz also identifies the term of ‘mdung’ to describe the lances used by oracles.
The five near identical blades individually resemble a spearhead in the Metropolitan museum, see LaRocca, p.176. The spear heads are relatively flat in profile, double edged with a slight medial ridge and rounded tip. All decorated with striking gold flames on a dark background and ju-i shaped clouds sit at the base of each blade. Each head is connected to a square section arm covered in sheet silver. A two-stage russet iron socket with a faceted gilt knop. Displayed on a custom made wooden red shaft and metal base.
My thanks to Donald La Rocca for pointing out the Nebesky-Wojkowitz reference. #tibet #tibetanart #tibetanantiques #buddhism #buddhistart #asianart #asianartinlondon #asiaweek #asiaweekny #armsandarmor #armsandarmour #himalyan #artofthehimalayas