Ming dynasty, 15th century The faceted-triangular blade with incised flaming borders, topped by three conjoined makara heads, beneath an ambrosia vase-form handle, surmounted by a pommel cast in the form of a three head of deities with fearsome expression and adorning elaborate headress, stand. 21cm long. (2).
The phurba is a manifestation of the fierce deity of compassion, Hayagriva, evident by the Tantric medium preferred by its initiates. For a later Qing dynasty example of a gold and silver-inlaid iron phurba, see Robert A.F. Thurman & David Weldon, Sacred Symbols. The Ritual Art of Tibet, London, 1999, pp.148-149, no.68.
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