TYPE: Tibetan handheld prayer wheel

CIRCA: 1800’s / 19th C.

Lhasa, Wanderlama mit Gebetsmühle
Othe Asian-13-6

A handheld Tibetan prayer wheel* made of brass and copper, with a double dorje engraved on the underside of the wheel-head, and a bamboo-wood handle with a beautifully aged patina. Inside the wheel-head are rolls of hand-made paper with sacred mantras block printed onto them, that have been blessed by a lama (a Tibetan religious personage or ‘priest’). As the prayer wheel is spun, or turned, the mantras contained within “spin off into the universe” in the same manner as recited prayers. Given the size (of the wheel-head) it was probably owned / used by a woman or young adult.

*A prayer wheel, or mani wheel, is a cylindrical ‘enclosure’ that is spun to recite the Buddhist mantras contained within and are common in Tibet and areas where Tibetan Buddhism is practiced. According to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, spinning such a wheel will have much the same meritorious effect as orally reciting the mantras / prayers contained within. They come in many sizes, both hand held and ‘free standing’ (see a free standing example here https://warpandweft.club/portfolio-item/other-items-4/). A hand held prayer wheel has a squat cylindrical body mounted on a thin metal shaft that is set into a wooden handle, and between which is a circular ‘bearing’ traditionally made of conch shell (as seen in the above photos).

See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_wheel



METAL WHEEL: 7.5cm H x 7cm W

HANDLE: 20cm

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