A parcel-gilt silver repoussé and gilt copper alloy miniature shrine cabinet (torgam)
Tibet, circa 18th century
Framed by rows of silver skulls the front panels are dominated by flaming skull cups; the right filled with the five sense offerings, the left filled with nectar. The surrounding composition is ornamented with birds of prey, and mythical beasts and the seven gems of the chakravartin including; a coral branch, a pair of elephant tusks, a three-eyed jewel, a unicorn horn, the three gems, crossed pair of measuring rulers a pair of king's earrings and a pair of queen's earrings. The lower frieze drawer is decorated with scenes of the cremation or charnel grounds with four dancing skeletons (chitipati), all holding a skull-tipped scepter and a skull bowl, spaced by various ritual implements. The side panels are incised with dancing yogin and a dancing skeleton, with back incised with the ten syllables of the Kalachakra mantra. The top panel is incised with a Tibetan with a Tibetan mantra '(om padmo ushnisha vimale hum phat) The whole is raised on four gilt skulls.
12 x 17 x 6 in. (30.5 x 43.2 x 15.2 cm.)