Dharmapala Thangka CentreTibetan Antiques

Double Padmasambhava Tsa Tsa Mold

This double tsa tsa form shows Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava in his manifestation as Guru Tsokyé Dorje with his traditional form: The vajra raised in front of his heart in the right hand, the skull bowl in the left hand and the three-pronged khatvanga in the crook of his arm. Both shapes are held together because the studs of the back mold fit into the small recesses of the front mold.

The circular part of hollow space at the bottom of the molds I.e [the container used to give shape or molten the statue] is used to create an empty space within the statue. For this purpose, a small rod is inserted into the hollow space & removed again after clay filling & before firing process.

After firing process, the empty space can then be filled with the paper sacred texts or scripture [Mantras]. Thenafter, the open ends at the bottom is closed again with the help of clay.

Inside the mold, the front is the mantra of Padmasambhava »om ah hung vajra guru padmasambhava siddhi hung« - ཨོཾ་ཨཱཿཧཱུྃ་བཛྲ་གུ་རུ་པདྨ་སིདྡྷི་ཧཱུྃ།. In addition, you can again see the first and the last syllable of the mantra »Om« ཨོཾ und »Hung« ཧཱུྃ in his neck area.

In those times, Figures made of clay and mud were widely used in Tibet and Tibetan culture. Apart from the purely technical challenges of bronze casting, this is mainly due to the complex and costly production of bronze sculptures. In large parts of the Himalayan region and in most Tibetan monasteries, sculptures that exceeded the size of statuettes were therefore mainly made of clay.

The manufacturing technique of clay figures up to a size of about 40 cm is known as the Coquille« process that is similar to the Tibetan letterpress printing with wooden printing blocks that produces numerous identical statues with relatively little effort. It resembles the pressing procedure of the tsha-tsha production. However, it is different because it mainly involves the use of double instead of single mold. These two molds represent the front and back of a statue.

In the gravity die casting process, clay or loam is often mixed with small strips of cloth to give the material greater strength and prevent fractures. It was than poured into the dies, which joined together and fixed in place. In addition, herbs were often mixed into the clay to increase the blessing power of the statues. During the drying process, the larger ingot molds were usually held together with a metal ring or with screw clamps. After a certain degree of drying, the chills were then removed and a clay statue had been obtained that could be professionally reworked, painted and consecrated.

Such clay statues are often made for monasteries, in order to put up in expensive row representations of certain Buddhas or historical personalities for ritual purposes.

Such Tsa Tsa forms are extremely rare today for three reasons:

  1. They were rarely made [appr. 1 % only of all tsa tsa molds] in the past compared to the one-sided standard forms.

  2. In the course of time, one of the two related forms was often lost. If this concerned the reverse side, the front side was only regarded as the standard form. If the front was lost, the only slightly expressive back was mostly disposed of as unattractive.

  3. The extremely rare pairs were so valuable that they mostly remained permanent in private collections. Museums almost never sell their collections, unless something catastrophic has happened. In the sale, such duplicate Tsa Tsa forms usually come only when dissolving collections.

    Condition: Due to age, only the surface has minor paint damages.

    Age: 20th Cent.


    Measurements: 4.3 x 3.5 x 2.8" | 11.0 x 8.9 x 7.0 cm
    Price: 209 $ | 190 €
    Shipment: Parcel Service from Germany
    Material: Dark Bronce
    Weight: 1.7 lbs | 770 grams
    High resolution: Display [1.0 MB, 1229 x 1250 px.]
    Inquiry / Order