Dharmapala Thangka CentreTibetan Antiques


Double Surgical Instrument

Spoon and Spatula

Front Sideview Back Spoon Middle part with turquise decoration Spatula Two Makaras Eyelet to fix at cloth Similar  simpler old surgical instrument Two similar surgical instruments on a medical thangka [17th cent]

This instrument was used in ancient Tibet for medical purpose. It is made of metal and was silver and gold-plated, polished and engraved. The item has two functions. One side has the shape of a spatula, which could be used for mixing, taking swabs or inspecting the oral cavity. The second part ends with a round spoon was used to feed oral medication.

The connection of both parts in the middle shows two »Makaras« [mythological sea dragons] from whose both maws the spoon or the spatula emerges. »Makaras« are especially known for their position in a mandala. They protect the four gates.

The connection of the two instruments was decorated by three turquoises. On the bottom there is an eyelet with which the doctor could attach the instrument to his clothes.

Another picture shows two comparable historical instruments described in the 9th century and illustrated for the first time in the 17th century in the Tibetan »Blue Beryl« - the main commentary to the Four Tantras medical text. [More below]

Surgery played only a minor role in ancient Tibet. One of the main reasons for this were probably the serious hygiene problems in everyday life at the time. Lack of disinfection made every surgical procedure very difficult.

Additional Information regarding old Tibetan surgery instruments ... ...


PropertyValue
Measurements: 10 x 1 x 0.6" | 25.5 x 2.5 x 1.6 cm
Price: on request
Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany
Material: Silver and gold plated Metal
Age: Prob. early 20th cent.
Condition: Excellant - only the three turquoise are not perfect anymore
High resolution: Display [175 KB, 3697 x 439 px.]