About This Singing Bowl Collection
Maureen and I began collecting antique singing bowls in the mid 1980s when we were in Nepal sourcing handicrafts for our fair-trade ethnic art & craft business, and we continued to collect exceptional and rare specimens of all types until our retirement. The bowls were selected at source in India and Nepal for our private enjoyment and were never intended for resale. We sold the business in 2010 and downsized our huge barn-conversion home to retire by the ocean in a remote part of Cornwall (UK) and pursue more personal interests. We sadly no-longer had the space to accommodate and display our vast collection of masks, shadow puppets, textiles, carvings, painting and fabulous antique singing bowls, and it was with a heavy heart that we later decided to part with some of our treasures.
Our First Encounter with Antique Singing Bowls: It was the middle of the 1980s and Maureen and I were in Nepal sourcing handicrafts for our ethnic art business when we chanced upon our first bowls in a Tibetan antique shop. We had no idea what they were at that time, and might not have noticed them were it not for a middle-aged man sitting cross-legged in the corner sifting through a huge stack. Every now and then he would pick out a bowl and dowse it with a pendulum, before playing it around the rim with a ringing stick. We watched intently, and were immediately captivated by the wondrous resonant sound issuing from one bowl after another…and before long we were sitting in a far corner sorting through a pile of our own, minus the pendulum, but totally enchanted! We returned to Nepal on numerous occasions after that, and each time we would spend days rummaging through antique shops in the Kathmandu valley, choosing singing bowls for ourselves and our business. We came to know the different types, to distinguish old from new, and to recognize exceptional quality and those with superior sound. Finding a few beautiful antique bowls to add to our own growing collection was always the highlight of any buying trip.
The Early Random Collection: Our initial approach to collecting was fairly random, and limited by lack of experience, money, and opportunity. In the early days we were only shown Thadobati, Manipuri, and occasionally one or two large Jambati bowls, but the latter were often beyond our means. We would simply pick out a few of the best we could afford…not realizing at the time that the real gems had already been set aside for a few serious collectors. But in time, as our business became successful and our financial resources and expertise grew, we gained entry to the exclusive world of the specialist international bowl buyer and collector, and soon we counted all of the top Tibetan, Nepali and Indian antique bowl dealers among our friends.
The Specialist Premium Collection: It was at this point that our passion for singing bowl collecting really took off, and as our knowledge of singing bowls grew we naturally refined our taste and began collecting in a more orderly fashion. We developed a particular interest in certain bowl types…the older Thadobati, large Jambati and Ultabati, and especially Lingams, and endeavored to collect as many top quality examples of each as possible. These are the wonderful ancient singing bowls that I am now offering for sale on this website.
Despite my best intentions to downsize, and contrary to expectations, I have in recent years continued to add to the collection some of the finest and rarest antique singing bowls in the world, sourced during my frequent trips to Nepal to administer the Memorial charity
I set up after Maureen’s passing. Singing bowl sales now largely fund my various humanitarian projects in Nepal. Your purchase will make a difference, perhaps transform, or even change a life!
A superb example of a rare museum-quality antique lingam singing bowl