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Seven Engraved Silver ‘Medicine’ Spoons
Tibet
19th century

length of each 10.5cm, combined weight: 144g

This fine set of seven silver spoons meant for mixing and administering healing powders and syrups originates from Tibet. The set has a good patina and
obvious age.

Each has an applied floral button midway along the stem. Three of the seven spoons retain the original turquoise cabochon beads inset in the middle of the
flower.

Each of the handles and bowls of each spoon is engraved with a mixture of one of the seven offering bowls and/or the eight auspicious objects.

The stems are engraved with a zig-zag motif infilled with flower motifs.

Silver medicine spoons were used for centuries in Tibetan medicine: silver was believed to have antiseptic properties.

A related example is in the American Museum of Natural History collection (catalogue number 70.0/6633.)

References:
Beer, R.,
The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs, Serindia, 2004.

Provenance: UK art market

Inventory no.: 2450

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