Antique Lingam Singing Bowl. Notes: D3 & G#5 (Sacral & Throat Chakras)
Weight 6.44 kilos (14 lb 2 oz). Size 37 x 15.5 cm (14 ½ x 6 ¼ inches)
This incredible antique Lingam Singing Bowl was sourced in the Indian Himalayas bordering Nepal and is believed to date from the 18th century. It is the rarest and most expensive antique singing bowl in my entire collection.
With an extraordinary diameter in excess of 14 ½ inches and weighing almost 6.5 kilos it is by far the largest and heaviest antique Lingam I have encountered in over 40 years of collecting rare bowls, and quite possibly the largest of its type in existence (see footnote).
The fundamental note is a wonderful third octave D3 (143Hz) when struck with a padded mallet or played around the rim with a heavy suede ringer. The rim note changes to G#5 (814Hz) with a wooden ringer. However, this bowl was probably made to be struck, singly and/or repetitively, and it is the fabulous purity, volume, and enduring sustain of the pulsating struck note that sets it apart from other bowls. It’s incredible sustain lasts in excess of 4 minutes!
This massive superior quality bowl would have cost a fortune in its day and was probably commissioned by or for a monastery or temple, where it would have served some important ceremonial purpose. It carries an inscription on the outer wall below the rim; a sure sign of the high esteem in which it was held by a former keeper.
When viewed from the side one could easily mistake this bowl for an exceptionally large antique Jambati. It has a beautiful and gracefully curved finely hammered wall and a rounded bottom. It has a wide triangulated and grooved lip and two incised decorative bands encircling the outer rim. Inside, at its centre, there is a fabulous large lingam, and underneath a deep and partially filled navel or yoni (in some Himalayan cultures the filling-in of the navel or yoni underneath serves a ritual safe-keeping or protective purose; to ensure that a pregnancy reaches full term for example).
An inscription fits between the rim and the bands. It is written in an ancient form of Farsi and reads ‘Hsad Ali Yad Guman’ which is probably the name of the commissioning owner or benefactor (Persia historically had a tremendous influence on South Asia including India).
This massive Lingam bowl is in excellent structural condition, and free of stains and blemishes. It will be supplied exactly as found with a dusting of powdery copper oxidisation and the most wonderful copper red/green surface patina that has gradually built up over the centuries. My personal preference would be to keep it as it is with the look and feel of great antiquity. However, it could very easily be cleaned and restored to virtually its original condition if desired.
This fabulous Lingam bowl is undoubtedly one of the most desirable and collectable antique bowls in the world today, and its next lucky guardian can rest assured they have something utterly unique and really special. Its high price is a reflection of what I had to pay to acquire it, and takes into account its age, quality, voice, size, condition and rarity today.
A wonderful antique treasure with an unspeakably beautiful voice!
A large Tibetan silk brocade bowl cushion, a padded striker, and two different ringers are included in the price.
Listen: (10 struck notes and 1partial sustain)
NOTE: Antique Lingam Singing Bowls are sacred ritual and musical vessels and the rarest and most sought-after of all Himalayan bowls. They typically have diameters of between 5 and 7 inches (23 to 28 cm). Very occasionally one of 9 or even 10 inches will come to light, but anything larger is virtually unheard of! This fabulous museum quality specimen has an astonishing diameter of 14 ½ inches!