Art of Swords

Sword
/sôrd/
Noun
1. A weapon consisting typically of a long, straight or slightly curved, pointed blade having one or two cutting edges and set into a hilt.
2. An instrument of death or destruction.

Vajra Water Knife
Date: ca. 15th century
Culture: Tibet
Medium: Iron damascened with gold and silver
Dimensions: H. 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm); W. 2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm)
Classification: Metalwork
Credit Line: Lent by Anthony d’Offay
Rights and Reproduction: Photograph © Rossi & Rossi
A wavelike steel blade emitting from a makara (sea monster) and a wave-form hilt earned this blade the title Vajra Water Knife (Tibetan: dorjey chutri).
The makara has an elephant’s trunk and tusks, which are bizarrely paired with the jaws of a crocodile and the flowing mane of a lioness. The traditional Indian makara of antiquity has an aquatic tail, which here, filtered through the Tibetan imagination, has become a great foaming wave.
A variant of the traditional flaying knife (Tibetan: triguk), this blade is a masterpiece of gold and silver workmanship. The contrasting metals damascened into the iron surface create a ritual utensil of threatening beauty.

Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Vajra Water Knife

  • Date: ca. 15th century
  • Culture: Tibet
  • Medium: Iron damascened with gold and silver
  • Dimensions: H. 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm); W. 2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm)
  • Classification: Metalwork
  • Credit Line: Lent by Anthony d’Offay
  • Rights and Reproduction: Photograph © Rossi & Rossi

A wavelike steel blade emitting from a makara (sea monster) and a wave-form hilt earned this blade the title Vajra Water Knife (Tibetan: dorjey chutri).

The makara has an elephant’s trunk and tusks, which are bizarrely paired with the jaws of a crocodile and the flowing mane of a lioness. The traditional Indian makara of antiquity has an aquatic tail, which here, filtered through the Tibetan imagination, has become a great foaming wave.

A variant of the traditional flaying knife (Tibetan: triguk), this blade is a masterpiece of gold and silver workmanship. The contrasting metals damascened into the iron surface create a ritual utensil of threatening beauty.

Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art 

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