Large Antique Conch Shell Trumpet
The conch is one of the eight auspicious symbols of Tibetan Buddhism - it is also a powerful amplifier of sound and as such is used for the call to prayer.
Buddhism adopted the symbolism of the conch from Hinduism and it represents the truth of the dharma in Buddhist practice.
We describe this item as an antique because the shell certainly is, although we would like to make clear that the silver work with inlaid turquoise and coral is contemporary, dating from around the mid twentieth century at best estimate.
This is a large and heavy piece and it also features a lavish amount of silver work, with both ends entirely clad in silver.
Along the exterior shell have been fashioned eight medallions featuring representations of the auspicious symbols.
A Kirtimukha (face of glory - a swallowing fierce monster face with huge fangs, and gaping mouth) stares out from the outside of the opening, and an array of animals and birds parade around the spiral top near the mouthpiece.