Weight 1.72 kilos (3 lb 12 ½ oz). Size 25.5 x 11.5 cm (10 x 4 ½ inches)
This extraordinary hybrid singing bowl, a cross between an Ultabati and a Lingam, is the first of its kind I have come across in nearly 30 years of collecting. It is simply unique!
I have debated long and hard about the authenticity of this bowl as lingams are often inserted inside more commonplace bowls to make them appear to be a genuine high value lingam. Old Thadobati bowls make ideal subjects as many genuine Lingams share the same basic form. Fake lingams are usually easily spotted by an expert eye, but would fool an unsuspecting amateur who might never have seen more than a few genuine Lingams because of their rarity. So with this in mind I examined this hybrid at great length with a magnifying glass to look for joins and changes in the metal colour and surface. My conclusion is that this is a genuine bowl with the lingam being an integral part of the original construction. Why an ultabati craftsman would create such a bowl is beyond me, and it looks like it was no easy task, but it does have a unique voice.
Its external form is similar to that of a normal Ultabati, while its interior features a massive lingam that almost erupts from the centre. There is an equally large and impressive navel on the underside. It has a plain downward-sloping lip, a smooth scooped collar that contrasts with the hammered surface below, and circles at its centre. It benefits from a nicely incised inscription, a sure sign of the high esteem in which it was held by a previous keeper.
The fundamental note is a low second octave Bb (120Hz) when struck with a padded mallet or played with a suede ringer. The rim note changes to a middle E (338Hz) if a wooden ringer is employed. This bowl is also capable of producing fountains if played with a little water inside.
This amazing antique bowl has bags of character, and will appeal to collectors. It is in good clean condition and has a beautiful rich golden bronze colour. A Tibetan silk brocade bowl cushion, a padded striker and a ringer are all included in the price.
Listen: (3 struck notes and 2 played notes, suede ringer then wood)