Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
0 selections
Log In
0 selections
lots of lots
Lot 0075
Central Asia, Tibet, ca. 19th century CE. An enormous creamy beige conch shell, its surface mottled from touch and age, encased in an ornate repousse silver coating that covers both anterior and posterior and flows along the side of the shell opposite the aperture. That side of the shell is covered with silver medallions, each bearing one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism. These smaller medallions are around a larger one that is divided into eighths, each one also containing a repousse Auspicious Symbol around a central coral bead. Eight alternating coral and turquoise beads are inlaid around the medallion. The silver opens at both ends to allow someone to play the shell as a trumpet. The form of the silver mirrors that of the shell, curling around its form in a spiral. Size: 5" L x 9.5" W x 20.75" H (12.7 cm x 24.1 cm x 52.7 cm)

The repousse silver is covered in swirls, floral patterns, and sinuous vines that wind around a series of animals: deer, mice, rams, lions… these are studded periodically with turquoise and coral inlaid "jewels," most round, with a few leaf-shaped. A trumpet like this one was a powerful object in Tibetan Buddhism, used to call monks to prayer, to summon spirits, and to participate in prayer rituals.

Provenance: private Ventura County, California, USA collection

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.



Repaired where the anterior end of the shell is covered in silver. Repair is visible but not obtrusive. A few of the turquoise and coral "jewels" are lost. Dark patina on surface of silver and on the shell, indicative of age and handling.

Buyer's Premium

  • 24.5%

Huge 19th C. Tibet Silver, Coral, Turquoise Conch Shell

Estimate $1,200 - $1,500Feb 15, 2018
Louisville, CO, USA