Singing bowl "Thadobati"
Nepal, early 20th century, private collection from Netherlands.
A singing bowls have been widely used since from the ancient times in Nepal and Tibet mostly by the Buddhist monks for meditation, religious ceremonial music and as traditional musical instruments. Made from an alloy of various metals including copper, silver, iron, tin, lead and even gold.
There is a quality to old hand made singing bowls that simply can't be replicated in shiny, new machine made brass bowls. Genuine antique singing bowls are all hand hammered, an arduous process requiring skill and perseverance. The artist would start with a flat circular piece of metal and shape it gradually into bowl. The quality standards of the time required a smooth finish which meant many blows of the hammer. Each singing bowl has its own shape, tone and color.
Thadobati singing bowls are among the oldest bowl forms, with some examples dating back to even 15th century. Thadobati bowls are characterizied by having almost straight high-sided walls and wide flat bottom, the diameter of which is sometimes only a little less than the rim. Decoration is fairly minimal, perhaps just a row or two of punched dots or gashes below the rim on external wall. Often the circles are worn down.
A sound is produced when hitting gently with a ringer (wooden stick) or a velvet mallet on the singing bowl. Another method is to make circular movements with a stick over the edge of the singing bowl. They are generally hand held and are easy and rewarding to play with either suede or wooden ringer, although small bowls respond better to the latter.
Small antique bronze Thadobati with gently rounded thin walls. Bright bell-like struck note. Simple but good soundscape with some swirling mid tones. Moderate sustain. Beautiful patina and heavy old oxidization. Diameter 11,5cm and height 5,9cm. Weight 177g. Modern wooden ringer included.