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  • Painted Tibetan Mahakala Torgam Cabinet - 18thC

    Painted Tibetan Mahakala Torgam Cabinet - 18thC

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    Trade & Wholesale

    Our origins are in wholesale, so from movies to restaurants, retailers to architects, we have a long history of supplying our trade clients with unusual and unique oriental furniture & decorative art. 

    Whether purchasing for resale or buying on behalf of a client, we offer trade discount pricing to:


  • Retail Stores
  • Interior Designers
  • Film & Photo Studios
  • Architects
  • Event Producers

  • For all trade and wholesale enquiries please email us with your contact and business name, company registration number & VAT number (if applicable) to enquiries@indigo-uk.com or call 01672 564722


    For full details, visit our Trade & Wholesale Page

    Prop Hire

    Looking for that one off iconic piece for an event or requiring props for a filming or a photography shoot? You will have seen our oriental antique furniture & decorative art in the James Bond films, The Golden Compass and many others.


    For all prop hire enquiries please send emails to enquiries@indigo-uk.com or call 01672 564722


    For full details, visit our Trade & Wholesale Page

    Painted Tibetan Mahakala Torgam Cabinet - 18thC

    SKU:M889

    £4,950

    An exquisite Tibetan Buddhist torgam (torkham) cabinet is decorated with offerings to the wrathful deity Mahakala. This is one of the best examples of Tibetan torgam we've seen and dates to the 18th century or earlier. 

     

    Torgams (or torkham) were found in monasteries & wealthy private homes - they were used for the storage of torma, Tibetan ritual cakes made from butter & barley flour. The name is a combination of torma and gam meaning cabinet. Torma offerings were most commonly made during Losar celebrations at the Tibetan New Year. In monasteries, they were located in the Protectors' chapel (gokang). 


    Mahakala (The Great Black One) leads the Dharmapala, a group of wrathful gods that defend Tibetan Buddhism's teachings & institutions. He was a fearsome Tibetan Buddhist deity identifiable by his three eyes, flaming eyebrows, and beard who assisted devotees in their journey to enlightenment through meditation by helping practitioners overcome spiritual obstacles and negative emotions.

     

    The overall theme of the cabinet is The Wrathful Offering of The Five Senses (khro-bo'i dbang-po lnga-tshogs) which contrasts with The Peaceful Offering of The Five Senses. Instead of beautiful sensory objects, the sense organs are depicted; a torn-out heart (consciousness), torn-out eyes with long optic nerves (representing sight), a tongue (representing taste), a nose (representing smell), a pair of ears (representing sound) & severed hands (representing touch). 

     

    The top doors feature garlands of intestines held in the mouths of severed heads & skulls representing the insubstantiality of day-to-day life. Below is a glazed torma offering in an upturned skull on the left door and another trio of torma in a bowl on the right door. A Tibetan snow lion devouring the intestines of a human and birds carrying eyes & hearts in their beaks can be seen.

     

    On the lower doors, we see an upturned skull mounted on a trio of skulls likely containing The Inner Offering (nang-chod) of the Five Nectars (human excrement marrow, semen, blood & urine). The Five Meats (bull, dog, elephant, horse & human) can be seen across the front of the cabinet. A minion of Mahakala on the bottom right door is posed ready to devour human meat and surrounded by black yaks & buffalo. Mahakala's jewel-topped sandalwood club features to the left with its flaming triangular tip.

     

    Original antique Tibetan cabinets are now very rare and there are many reproduction pieces made in China coming onto the market.

     

    Dimensions:

    87 x 50.5 x 131.5 (wxdxh cms)

     

    Provenance & Reading: 

    Formerly of the James Yarrow Collection & purchased on the UK Art Market

    A similar example can be found in the LACMA collection (Los Angeles County Museum of Art - (M.2005.94.1)

    Similar examples can be found in Tibetan Furniture; Identifying, Appreciating, Collecting by Chris Buckley (plate 176) & Wooden Wonders: Tibetan Furniture in Secular and Religious Life by Kamansky (plate 127).

     

    From Tibet


    UK Delivery Charge - except Highlands & Islands £40
    More delivery options available at checkout

    Dimensions: W87 x D50.5 x H131.5 cm


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    £4,950
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    0

    Free UK Delivery on orders over £100 

    Use code 'Delivery' at checkout

    In Stock - In Our Wiltshire Showroom


    An exquisite Tibetan Buddhist torgam (torkham) cabinet is decorated with offerings to the wrathful deity Mahakala. This is one of the best examples of Tibetan torgam we've seen and dates to the 18th century or earlier. 

     

    Torgams (or torkham) were found in monasteries & wealthy private homes - they were used for the storage of torma, Tibetan ritual cakes made from butter & barley flour. The name is a combination of torma and gam meaning cabinet. Torma offerings were most commonly made during Losar celebrations at the Tibetan New Year. In monasteries, they were located in the Protectors' chapel (gokang). 


    Mahakala (The Great Black One) leads the Dharmapala, a group of wrathful gods that defend Tibetan Buddhism's teachings & institutions. He was a fearsome Tibetan Buddhist deity identifiable by his three eyes, flaming eyebrows, and beard who assisted devotees in their journey to enlightenment through meditation by helping practitioners overcome spiritual obstacles and negative emotions.

     

    The overall theme of the cabinet is The Wrathful Offering of The Five Senses (khro-bo'i dbang-po lnga-tshogs) which contrasts with The Peaceful Offering of The Five Senses. Instead of beautiful sensory objects, the sense organs are depicted; a torn-out heart (consciousness), torn-out eyes with long optic nerves (representing sight), a tongue (representing taste), a nose (representing smell), a pair of ears (representing sound) & severed hands (representing touch). 

     

    The top doors feature garlands of intestines held in the mouths of severed heads & skulls representing the insubstantiality of day-to-day life. Below is a glazed torma offering in an upturned skull on the left door and another trio of torma in a bowl on the right door. A Tibetan snow lion devouring the intestines of a human and birds carrying eyes & hearts in their beaks can be seen.

     

    On the lower doors, we see an upturned skull mounted on a trio of skulls likely containing The Inner Offering (nang-chod) of the Five Nectars (human excrement marrow, semen, blood & urine). The Five Meats (bull, dog, elephant, horse & human) can be seen across the front of the cabinet. A minion of Mahakala on the bottom right door is posed ready to devour human meat and surrounded by black yaks & buffalo. Mahakala's jewel-topped sandalwood club features to the left with its flaming triangular tip.

     

    Original antique Tibetan cabinets are now very rare and there are many reproduction pieces made in China coming onto the market.

     

    Dimensions:

    87 x 50.5 x 131.5 (wxdxh cms)

     

    Provenance & Reading: 

    Formerly of the James Yarrow Collection & purchased on the UK Art Market

    A similar example can be found in the LACMA collection (Los Angeles County Museum of Art - (M.2005.94.1)

    Similar examples can be found in Tibetan Furniture; Identifying, Appreciating, Collecting by Chris Buckley (plate 176) & Wooden Wonders: Tibetan Furniture in Secular and Religious Life by Kamansky (plate 127).

     

    From Tibet


    UK Delivery Charge - except Highlands & Islands £40
    More delivery options available at checkout


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    • Guaranteed authenticity on all antique pieces (where dated)

    • Every item is in stock in the UK

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    • - Small items: £7.50

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    • Product Specific delivery charges visible above "Add to Basket" button and in Checkout (scroll up)

    • Additional charges may apply for deliveries to highlands, islands, out of area deliveries and collections. 

    • International Delivery: Please contact us for quotes on individual pieces at enquiries@indigo-uk.com, Livechat or calling +44 1672 564722

    Free UK mainland delivery on orders over £100 | Use code "DELIVERY" at checkout

    DISPATCH

    • - Non-furniture Delivery: 2-5 working days

    • - Furniture Delivery: Within 1 - 2 weeks

      (We'll call you to arrange a specific delivery date)

    • Free UK mainland delivery on orders over £100 | Use code "DELIVERY" at checkout

    RETURNS

    • - Hassle Free Returns

    • - Return your order within 28 days for a full refund (excluding delivery charges)

    • - Items must be returned in a resalable condition

    • - Collections can be arranged on request

    • Product Specific delivery charges visible above "Add to Basket" button and in Checkout (scroll up)

    • Additional charges may apply for deliveries to highlands, islands, out of area deliveries and collections. 

    • International Delivery: Please contact us for quotes on individual pieces

    Trade & Wholesale

    Our origins are in wholesale, so from movies to restaurants, retailers to architects, we have a long history of supplying our trade clients with unusual and unique oriental furniture & decorative art. 

    Whether purchasing for resale or buying on behalf of a client, we offer trade discount pricing to:


  • Retail Stores
  • Interior Designers
  • Film & Photo Studios
  • Architects
  • Event Producers

  • For all trade and wholesale enquiries please email us with your contact and business name, company registration number & VAT number (if applicable) to enquiries@indigo-uk.com or call 01672 564722


    For full details, visit our Trade & Wholesale Page

    Prop Hire

    Looking for that one off iconic piece for an event or requiring props for a filming or a photography shoot? You will have seen our oriental antique furniture & decorative art in the James Bond films, The Golden Compass and many others.


    For all prop hire enquiries please send emails to enquiries@indigo-uk.com or call 01672 564722


    For full details, visit our Trade & Wholesale Page

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