Vajra Flaying Knife
ca. 15th century
Eastern Tibet, Derge
Steel inlaid with gold and silver
L. 22 11/16 in. (57.7 cm); W. 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm)
Gift of Alexander Polsky, 1985
This flaying knife is styled in the Indian manner, with a long, hooked steel blade for butchering and flaying. A vajra (thunderbolt scepter), symbol par excellence of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, forms the handle. The steel blade issues from a wide-jawed sea monster (makara) hilt, finely damascened with gold and silver.
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