This antique rosewood shaman phurba is quite exceptional with its beautiful relief carving and rich shamanic symbolism.
At the top of the hilt are three faces of a deity, with each facet of his three-sided crown featuring a different motif…Sun, Moon and Trident. The hilt takes the form of dorje or thunderbolt set between a pair of endless knots, below which is a fabulous Elephant Makara with it’s arms and hands extending down two sides of the three-sided blade…each hand grasping the neck of a Naga or snake. The third facet of the blade, the back, features entwined nagas and a Bhumpa. Other symbols carved into the blade include a bow and arrow, and a trident.
Wrapped around the hilt, and knotted tightly, is a single piece of old twisted rag torn from the clothing of a client, or perhaps the shaman, and used in a talismanic shamanic ritual. I thought at first that this might have been recently added to the phurba by the antique dealer to increase its commercial interest and value…but close inspection reveals that this could not possibly be the case, and that the knot has been in situ for as long as the cloth has been disintegrating.
A fabulous example of an antique shamanic ritual power tool, and very collectable!