Fragment of a canonical tantra

Material Information

Fragment of a canonical tantra
Series Title:
Objects of instruction : treasures of SOAS
Added title page title:
Folios from a canonical tantra
Added title page title:
Canonical tantra : folios
Donated by Rev. G.R. Newton, 1940
Place of Publication:
Tibet, China
Publication Date:
Ink on paper ( medium )
H20 x W62.5 cm in


Subjects / Keywords:
Tantra ( lcsh )
亚洲 -- 中国 -- 西藏
亞洲 -- 中國 -- 西藏
Spatial Coverage:
Asia -- China -- Tibet
31.66667 x 88


The tantras form part of the Tibetan Buddhist scriptural canon, which comprises thousands of works translated mainly from Sanskrit between the eighth and thirteenth centuries CE. The elongated format is carried over from the South Asian palm leaf, which was never used in Tibet. The alphabetic Tibetan script was derived from South Asian models probably in the seventh century, and is here seen in its non-cursive style as also used in blockprints. The earliest Tibetan manuscripts were written on paper imported from China, but from about the thirteenth century paper has been manufactured in Tibet and neighbouring parts of the Himalayas. The text is written in locally produced ink using a bamboo pen. Reproducing the canon, of which every monastery should ideally have at least one copy, is a highly meritorious act for sponsor, calligrapher and monastic community (Text by Philip Denwood, from the exhibition catalogue: Objects of instruction : treasures of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Anna Contadini, Editor. London : SOAS, University of London, 2007.) ( en )
General Note:
The 'Objects of instruction : the treasures of SOAS' exhibition was funded through a generous gift from the Foyle Foundation and with the support of the Arts & Humanities Research Council.
General Note:
Source: A. Contadini (ed.), Objects of Instruction : Treasures of the School of Oriental and African Studies. London : SOAS, University of London, 2007, p.81, no.62

Record Information

Source Institution:
SOAS, University of London
Holding Location:
Archives and Special Collections
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
MS 40139 ( soas manuscript number )
81f72546-04df-4e86-bf31-c72657ceec6c ( calm recordid )