Large Antique Manipuri Singing Bowl. C3 Note (Root Chakra)
Weight 2 lb 14 ¼ oz (1.31 kilos). 25 x 9 cm (approx. 9 ¾ x 3 ½ inches)
This is an unusually large antique Manipuri Singing Bowl that has been finely forged to produce a diameter of almost 10 inches. This is about 2 inches greater than the average large Manipuri. And at 1.31 kilos it is also unusually heavy for this type of bowl. However, the shallow profile and slightly splayed top are quite typical, as are the decorative features which include a nicely grooved lip and a boldly incised collar below the outer rim. There are a pair of concentric circles on the flat floor of the bowl, and another pair high up on the inside wall about an inch below the rim.
The sound of this bowl is both interesting and tonally complex. When struck on the rim with a heavy padded mallet the note is an almost perfect third octave concert pitch C. It will sing the same note when played around the rim with a suede-wrapped ringer. But at least 3 or 4 other harmonics are present…any one of which may come to the fore as one plays, particularly if a wooden ringer is used. This bowl has a mind of its own and one needs to spend time to get to know its ways.
I believe this to be an older Manipuri singing bowl, perhaps 18th or 19th century. It’s been around a long time and there is some evidence of age related surface bruising on the outside, but nothing that impacts on the sound quality or detracts from the beauty of this ancient piece. It is structurally sound and in good general condition for its considerable age.
This handsome antique bowl has the look and feel of antiquity. The outside is particularly nice, and has a lovely golden colour with lots of attractive hammer markings that reflect the light.
Something of a gem!
Listen: (2 struck notes and 2 played notes with suede and then wooden ringers)