Socket from a Spearhead or a Ceremonial Staff

Tibetan or Mongolian

Not on view

This socket appears to be the only known piece of ironwork with a dual language dedicatory inscription in Tibetan and Mongolian. The upper half is encircled by eleven horizontal lines of Tibetan, alternately damascened in gold and silver. The lower half has fourteen vertical lines of Classical Mongolian, mostly in silver, but with certain words highlighted in gold. The inscription is dedicated to Yonten Gyasto (1589–1617), the Fourth Dalai Lama, who was the great grandson of the Mongol ruler Altan Khan. It also identifies the donor as Sodnam Ombu Taiji, one of the most powerful noblement of Inner Mongolia at the time.

Socket from a Spearhead or a Ceremonial Staff, Iron, gold, silver, Tibetan or Mongolian

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