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Clay Votive Plaque (Tsa-Tsa) of Bhairab or Bhairava
Nepal
circa 18th century

height: 6.4cm, width: 6.2cm, thickness: 1cm

This devotional votive plaque or tsa-tsa was made by pressing clay into a metal reverse-mould after which it was fired. It appears to show the multiple-armed
form of Bhairab or Bhairava, one of Nepal's most popular deities, and has remnants of red ochre colouring.

Such tablets were acquired by devotees and pilgrims as acts of merit, often at religious sites, as mementos and talismanic or protective keepsakes.  The
plaques often were made in one location and  carried by pilgrims to be left at a site in another location, perhaps in a cave or at an important shrine.

The example here has obvious age and patina and is in a fine, stable condition.

References:
Proser, A., (ed.), Pilgrimage and Buddhist Art, Asia Society Museum/Yale University Press, 2010.

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

Inventory no.: 4438

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