TYPE: A painted wooden Tibetan mani (prayer) wheel box

CIRCA: 1900

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A wooden Tibetan cabinet with a beautifully aged patina built specifically to hold a large Tibetan prayer wheel.* It is decorated with powerful tiger stripes on either side, while at the top of the front removable panel is painted a mythical Dzeepa** to ward of evil, and at the bottom two protective snow lions*** either side or a bowl full of previous jewels. NOTE: The prayer wheel shown here is NOT included in the sale, but shown only as an example. Only the cabinet itself is for sale.

*A prayer wheel – or more factually a mani wheel – is a cylindrical ‘enclosure’ usually made of brass (but can be other metals, or even wood). Inside the wheel-head are rolls of hand-made paper with sacred Buddhist mantras block printed onto them, and which have been blessed by a lama (a Tibetan religious personage or ‘priest’). The wheel is spun so as to recite the 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 the same meritorious effect as orally reciting the mantras / prayers. They come in many sizes, both ‘free standing’ and hand held (see a hand held example here https://warpandweft.club/portfolio-item/other-asian-item-13/). For more information on prayer wheels see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_wheel

**Dzeepa’s, usually portrayed as a disembodied head, are ancient mythological creatures used to keep evil spirits at bay, and their likeness is very common in several countries throughout Asia. Depending on their locale they go by various names, and assorted spellings; for instance in Tibet he is known as Dzeepa (sometimes spelt Dzeeba / Dzeepa / Zeepa / Zeepah, or variations thereof), while to the Newars of Nepal he is Chepu / Cheppu, and in India he is Kirtimukha. Various portrayals of Dzeepa can also be seen on some of the pillar carpets featured on this page  https://warpandweft.club/ningxia/

***The Snow Lion is a mythical celestial animal in Tibet. It was the national emblem for Tibet from 1909 until 1959 when a single snow lion, or a pair of snow lions, were used on coins, postage stamps, banknotes and on the national flag of Tibet (shown above). It symbolize fearlessness, strength, power and joy. For more information on snow lions see http://tibetanbuddhistencyclopedia.com/en/index.php/Snow_Lion

SIZE:  0.64m high x 0.41m wide x 0.41m deep