These spoons are all hand made, and
while they are very similar in style, they also show many obvious
The center stones are usually coral or turquoise (coral color and
blue which are believed to have medicinal properties). The rightmost
spoon, however, is a faceted purple glass and
other stones have also been found in similar spoons.
The bowls usually have a hump in the middle dividing them in half and
that respect are similar to annointing spoons
which were used on the
There are no identifying marks of any kind. Some of the older
spoons are believed to be an unknown grade of silver and the newer ones
are some type of silvery metal.
It is believed that the older ones were probaby made from silver which
had been used in other objects.
I suspect that the only way to determine metallic content would be via
an acid test.
The Tsog spoon (pronouced "soak") are used in ritualized offerings.
"The tsog is the gathering of:
1. practitioners - viewed as their enlightened nature,
2. offering substances - the edible substances represent
skillful means & the liquids wisdom,
3. buddhas - imagine an entire mandala of buddhas; and
4. merit and wisdom - result from 1-3. Merit is the accumulation
of devotion & compassion, and wisdom is the development of
Offering substances include: sweet, sour, salty, grain, wine, flowers
and meat (dairy is optional). Offerings are selected without preference
or aversion and without the idea that one has spent too much or
I found this picture on michaelbackmanltd.com and at this writing these
spoons are for sale
He is claiming that this group of seven is silver.
He further describes them:
"Each has an applied floral button midway along the stem. Three of the
seven spoons retain the original turquoise cabochon beads inset in the
middle of the
Each of the handles and bowls of each spoon is engraved with a mixture
of one of the seven offering bowls and/or the eight auspicious objects.
The stems are engraved with a zig-zag motif infilled with flower motifs.
Silver medicine spoons were used for centuries in Tibetan medicine:
silver was believed to have antiseptic properties."
The age of TSOG spoons is indeterminate. Some are old but new ones
(that look old) can still be purchased for a few dollars.
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