Tibetan artifact

Jun 06, 2021. 20:11 UTC
Tibetan artifact
United States of America

Acquired from

For sale

Copper colored metal disc-shaped container abt 17 or 18 inches in circumference, 1 inch deep, with silver colored Buddha in the center. We don’t know if there’s anything inside.


My mentor, Michele Laporte, works at the Rubin Museum of Art. A donor gifted her this item and she then gifted it to me in 2005

Answered within 3 days
Jun 10, 03:47 UTC
By Leah I.

Fair Market Value

$200 - $300 USD

Suggested Asking Price

$250 USD
What does this mean?

This is a Tibetan zodiac plaque of brass (the green patina indicates this) and gilt.
I submitted an image of the back inscription to an online Tibetan language forum in hope of getting a translation, but haven’t heard back yet.

My appraisal is based on looking at asking prices as well as hammer sales of similar objects. Below I have listed some links to some examples. Bear in mind that asking prices can be a useful guide but are not authoritative, especially on sites like ebay, where I found the majority of these pieces for sale. It is still useful to note some of the higher asking prices out there to get a sense of the market.

The hammer prices I did find were generally lower, but I also found fewer closed sales overall.
We can safely say it is worth over $100, and I think that the Fair Market Value would be somewhere around $200 to $300. I am considering the estimate on the $100 sale as well as the range of asking prices. I am also considering materials and complexity of design.

Here are some similar pieces I found:

Asking $260, Tibetan copper gilt zodiac plaque
Asking $690, Tibetan zodiac plaque, cloisonne accents
Asking $720, Tibetan zodiac plaque, says it’s silver: see note below...
Asking $1056, similar
https://ebay.to/2TUUUuF and https://ebay.to/3pAHY92
Asking $870, more elaborate design and embellishments
Asking $615, silver

Note on Tibetan silver:
“Tibetan Silver is a silver-colored alloy consisting of copper with tin or nickel. Some items described as Tibetan Silver are cast iron that has been plated with the silver-colored metal.”
Source: https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-tibetan-silver-608022

Hammer prices:
$100, described as 19th century, brass, pre-auction estimate $300-400
$120, 20th c., brass
$350, gilt, cabochons
$1200, very elaborate

This item might be for sale

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