About this object

An ivory phurba or ritual dagger. The dagger has four blade edges that finish in a narrow point. The handle is carved with dorje and makara or mythical sea serpent heads and the finial is carved with heads of the Buddhist protector Hayagriva (Tamdin), identifiable due to his symbol, the horse's head, at the tip.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang: Lhasa
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Tooth Ivory
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    From the Collection of Sir Charles Bell
  • Collector
    Charles Alfred Bell
  • Place collected
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang: Lhasa
  • Date collected
    1913-01-06 before
  • Measurements
    210 mm x 33 mm x 36 mm; 8 1/4 in x 1 5/16 in x 1 7/16 in
  • Note
    List of Curios No 42: Ivory Pur-pa-dagger. Prevents evil spirits entering. To be placed with 41 [ivory statue of Chenrezig, as yet unlocated across the dispersed collection]. Price of 41 and 42 together Rs.89/14. Obtained at Lhasa from a monk of the Sera monastery. (The same meaning as No.8 according to Barmiak Lama on 6th January 1913).
  • Related people

Explore related


  • List of Curios

    Bell, Charles Alfred

    Author: Bell, Charles Alfred
    Description: A typed object catalogue from Bell's handwritten notes on a wide variety of objects from his personal collection. This information often contains, the date he obtained an object, its provenance (including where and who he acquired from) and the person responsible for giving him the information. The process of writing the inventory began in December 1912 and continued until the late 1930s.

  • Tibet: Catalogue of Exhibits

    Tankard, Elaine

    Author: Tankard, Elaine
    Publisher: Liverpool Public Museums
    Date: 1953-03
    Description: Introductory essay and catalogue entries, in themes, for the 1953 exhibition; 'Tibet', held at the Walker Art Gallery.

Object view = Humanities
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