Central Asia, Tibet / China, ca. 19th century CE. Sixteen clay press-molded circular plaques used as devotional tablets for consecrations and prayer. They include scenes depicting fierce, multi-armed tantric deities standing and holding kapala. Others are a skull chitapati, a Vaisravana, and Mahaklas. Some are brightly painted; some are gilded, and one is plain fired clay. They are kept in a Thai 19th century wood, felt-lined carved box with a creation myth scene in relief on the cover. Size of box: 14.25" L x 8.5" W (36.2 cm x 21.6 cm); size of largest tablet: 1" W x 2" H (2.5 cm x 5.1 cm)
Tsa tsa tablets (also tsha tsha) are a Tibetan transliteration of a Sanskrit word to describe miniature votive tablets common in Tibetan Buddhism. They are made to be placed in the inner shrines of large stupas, in statues, in sacred caves, holy mountains, and holy lakes. They are believed to have the power to prevent disasters and offer forgiveness and healing when prayed to.
Provenance: private New York, USA collection; ex Sothebys London Bond Street, Colonnade Sale, Item #398 April 28, 1995
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