Baronet 4 Tibet
Tibetan Buddhist
Art furniture & Antiques from the monasteries of the Ser Shong (Golden Valley)

Tibetan Buddhist Lama's Cabinet C020-01

Tibetan Offering Shrine
click on above image to see larger view


Dragons and Phoenix dominate the doors, while tsebum and Cintamani are featured on the main panels.  The art work is very clean, the shading is nicely done and the kyungbur is delicate and even. The hinges of the doors are wood-pegs in the doors that fit into a hole in the underside of the top and slide into a groove on the horizontal frame. The door-pull is the vertical kyungbur-trim in the center of the two doors. The front trim is done in the zigzag kyungbur (raised gesso), however instead of the usual red and gold there is a dark maroon and gold.  The only metal hardware on this piece are the round loops with silk road transit tax coins as the escutcheon for the drawer pulls on the drawer fronts.  The sides, back and top are a natural wood with an oil finish. The wood is predominately Asian Cedar, with some pine and spruce thrown into the mix. Comes with a Certificate Of Authenticity. This cabinet has not been used, it was stored in one of the empty residences inside of the monastery for decades until we transported it to Shanghai in 2006. It was originally made to be sold to a lama and was in storage during the turbulent years of the occupation's forced re-education and ensuing Cultural Revolution.

Age: circa 1950-70

Dimensions: H=31" W=41" D=15.25"

If you have questions or would like additional photographs, contact David either by calling
1-800-718-4238 or by emailing


Price $1245.00 plus shipping and handling West Coast $240, Mtn. States $260, Mid West $278, Atlantic coast $295  Canadian destinations contact us  for a quote. 


Starting at the top left panel there is a jar, called Tsebum, sitting upon a Lotus throne. Underneath is Durva grass as the fronds of the lotus stem and blue and green rock cliffs. Behind the Tsebum is the Mahamudra mists. Tsebum or "long-life vase", is a jar in which the "nectar of immortality" is kept. The Durva grass is also a symbol of long life: because grass is highly resilient, it is believed to be immortal.  Therefore, it proclaims the end of samsara, the successive death and rebirth of all beings  It usually takes a long time to overcome samsara, and a longer life span will allow greater progress in moving towards enlightenment within a given cycle. The lotus is an important Buddhist motif.  Images of the Buddha and other important persons often are shown seated on a lotus throne.  The growth of the lotus, with its roots in mud, growing through water, and emerging as a wonderful plant above the water's surface, is seen as an analogy of the soul’s path from the mud of materialism to the purity of enlightenment, which you need a long life to accomplish. The way to get there is through the Buddhist scriptures; enter the rock cliffs: rock/cliff formation represents the syllable "E" which appears in the opening stanza of early Buddhist scriptures, ("'thus,' I have heard"). The blue and green cliffs represent the unmoving nature of the mind when enlightenment has been attained. When we get to that point of enlightenment we understand the Mahamudra mists. Mahamudra: the union of compassion and wisdom -- the ultimate realization of one’s true nature.  They are represented as the transformation of our vices into the 4 powers of regret, vow, reliance, and remedy, so the practitioner will realize purification and enlightenment.  This is also the basic meaning of the "Heart Sutra."

The two upper doors have a Phoenix sitting on an Ashoka throne with a few camp flowers sprinkled among the durva grass. The Phoenix is a mythical bird that that transcends all great cultures. It is endowed with magical qualities of auspiciousness, longevity, peace and resurrection, it is at the top of the bird pecking order as to significance.