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Hand-Held Cast Brass Dharmachakra Mace
Tibet
18th-19th century

length: 24.6cm, width: 12.4cm, weight: 1,110g

This unusual mace topped with a chakra wheel most probably was held aloft by a Tibetan Buddhist monk or lama during rituals.

It has been cast from thick, heavy brass. The
chakra wheel itself has been cast separately from the handle with the two being both soldered and pinned
together.

The eight-spoked 'golden' wheel originally is a Hindu-Indian motif but was adopted by Buddhism as a symbol of the Buddha's teachings. Wheels turn and so
the emblem is associated with spiritual change. It represents the overcoming of obstacles and illusions. Buddha's first discourse at Sarnath has become known
as the 'first turning of the wheel of truth (
dharma)'.

The wheel here is surrounded by cast 'flames' or wisdom, which leap away from the wheel.

The item is in fine condition. It's weight is particularly pleasing . The join between the wheel and the handle is visible and there is some small movement, but it
is stable. It has a darkened, age-related patina.

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

Provenance:
Estate of Stephen Masty (1954-2015); see here for more information on Masty.

Inventory no.: 4435

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