Ornamented with five grinning skull at the base, the domed chignon
with a visvavajra in front, flanked by a skull and crescent moon, and
surmounted by a stylized flaming lotus.
It Imitates a Chignon, as if the hairstyle were worked in metal.
Grinning skulls adorn its bottom edge. The upper , cylindrical portion is decorated with a double, or universal, thunderbold
(vishvavajra), a skull perphapsrepresenting the sun, and a crescent. The flaming wheel at the apex no double symbolizes the supremacy of
the Buddhist religion. The headdress could have been worn by a monk in a Tantric ritual, by an oracle, or even by a god. Nor can we be certain of its provenance. It could have been made in any region of
the Tibetan cultural realm.
Condition: The upper and lower sections in two parts and joined
together. Foliate ornaments formerly above skulls now missing. Remains of polychrome overall. Minor dents overall. Wear and abrasions to surface overall.
Published: P. Pal, A Collecting Odyssey, Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art from the James and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection,
Chicago, 1997, cat. no. 309.