Thursday, December 06, 2007

Traditional Tibetan outfit with adornments. This type of attire would have been worn by a local official. Men wore large necklaces and strings of turquoise dangled from their ear.

An old mala made up of coconut shell disc shaped beads and strung with carnelian spacers. Counters are attached to keep track of mantra accumulations. One side keeps track of the hundreds and the other keeps track of the thousands. When 10,000 mantras have been completed a marker (such as the small pieces of turquoise pictured) is moved one disc bead along. 10 disc beads would equal 100,000 recitations. For those who have several different types of mantras to recite then their mala may have several different markers.

Pictured above is a small metal Dorje (Vajra). This and similar pieces are usually strung on the tassle of a Guru bead. They can be fastened securely to a belt or an item of clothing. Tibetans still use these today to protect against loss and to stop their beads from falling on the floor. Very handy for Tibetans who are always on the move.

Old disc bead mala with carnelian. This style of mala is usually favoured by Tibetan women.

A prized ancient agate bead (centre) with exceptional colour contrast.

Ancient round agate eye bead and single stripe decorated agate bead.

Ancient decorated agate beads. It is very unsual to find the central Longevity bead in this size and shape.

Ancient green stone bead sourced from a Tibetan trader in North East India.

Ancient agate bead with natural eye. This bead has a fantastic patina and an unusual yellow colour.
Large ancient agate bead with excellent colour.

The one-of-a-kind oval shaped carnelian bead (with cross decoration) is exceptionally rare. I have never seen another decorated bead like this.

Various ancient beads including round lonegvity bead and decorated carnelian cone bead.

A zoomorphic agate. Possibly shaped like the head of a tiger. Sourced in North East India. 

This was proabably a  9 or 12 eyed bead when it was whole. Now only six eyes remain.

A spectacular ancient agate eye bead.

Ancient agate bead with natural eye.

Ancient Luk Mik dZi.

Ancient agate bead with natural eye formation.

Vivid turquoise bead flanked with ancient Jasper.

Ancient six striped carnelian bead.

Various ancient agate beads including the reverse side of a Luk Mik (far right).

Various ancient stone beads.

Various ancient stone beads.

Pumtek strung with other Himalayan treasures.

Ancient green jasper bead with subtle facets.

Very old Pumtek beads with pale colour (possibly from longtime burial).

Old Pumtek bead from Burma.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Decorated stone Pumtek beads from Burma.

Old Pumtek beads from Burma.

Tabular Pumtek (Burma).