About this object

Bhutanese women wear wrapped dresses (kira). Traditionally kira were held in place with a pair of long pins (thinkhab) - one at each shoulder. By the mid 20th century, the pins were replaced by brooches. Thinkhab could also be used as a weapon if a woman was attacked.

This very fine set of silver and gold pins are attached to woven metal straps. The two straps are joined to a brooch-like fitting (koma) in the shape of a dharma wheel with a double dorje or thunderbolt at the centre. The pins are heavily incised with designs and highlighted with gilding. The connecting chains, the koma and the heads of the pins are inset with pieces of jade (the red wax showing).

Object specifics

  • Type
    Textile/Clothing; Personal Ornament
  • Culture
    Bhutanese
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Asia: Southern Asia: Bhutan
  • Date made
    1920 about
  • Materials
    Silver; Metal Gilt; Jade; Wax
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    From the Collection of Frederick Marshman and Irma Bailey
  • Collector
    Irma Bailey
  • Place collected
    Asia: Southern Asia: Bhutan
  • Date collected
    1921 - 1928
  • Measurements
  • Note
    Curator's note:The inventory card notes that Irma Bailey recalled that this was made as a gift, although there is no mention of who gave her the thinkhab. Irma Bailey maintained regular correspondence with Bhutanese royalty and the aristocracy and she regularly received gifts of clothing and accessories from several women. It is possible that the thinkhab was part of one of these gifts. Written by Emma Martin.
  • Related people
    Irma Bailey ( Collector)
Object view = Humanities
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