About This Singing Bowl Collection


We began collecting antique singing bowls in the mid 1980s when we were in Nepal sourcing handicrafts for our ethnic art business, and we continued to collect exceptional and rare specimens until our retirement in 2010.  Most of the bowls on this website were selected at source for our private enjoyment and were not intended for resale, but our collection has recently been expanded to include some additional rare specimens that have come to light through our unique Himalayan Bowl Search Service.




We sold our fair-trade ethnic art business in 2010 and downsized our home to retire and pursue more personal interests.  Unfortunately we no-longer have the space to accommodate and display our large private collection of masks, textiles, carvings and fabulous rare antique singing bowls, and it is with some sadness that we have decided to part with them.  We hope they bring their new keepers the same joy that we experienced during our 30 year guardianship.




Our singing bowl collection began in the mid 1980s.  We were in Nepal sourcing handicrafts for our ethnic art business when we chanced upon our first bowls in a Tibetan antique shop.  We had no idea what they were at that time, and might not have noticed them were it not for a middle-aged man sitting cross-legged in the corner sifting through a huge stack.  Every now and then he would pick out a bowl and dowse it with a pendulum, before playing it around the rim with a ringing stick.   We watched intently, and were immediately captivated by the wondrous resonant sound issuing from one bowl after another...and before long we were sitting in a far corner sorting through a pile of our own, minus the pendulum, but totally enchanted!


We returned to Nepal on numerous occasions after that, and each time we would spend days rummaging through antique shops in the Kathmandu valley, choosing singing bowls for ourselves and our business.  We came to know the different types, to distinguish old from new, and to recognize exceptional quality and those with superior sound.  Finding a few beautiful antique bowls to add to our own growing collection was always the highlight of any buying trip.




Our initial approach to collecting was fairly random, and limited by lack of experience, money, and opportunity.  In the early days we were only shown Thadobati,  Manipuri, and occasionally one or two large Jambati bowls, but the latter were often beyond our means.  We would simply pick out a few of the best we could afford…not realizing at the time that the real gems had already been set aside for serious collectors.   But in time, as our business became successful and our financial resources and expertise grew, we gained entry to the exclusive world of the specialist bowl buyer and collector, and we now count some of the top Tibetan antique singing bowl dealers among our friends.




It was at this point that our passion for singing bowls and our collection really took off, and over the next two decades we steadily amassed most of the wonderful ancient singing bowls that we are now offering for sale on this website.  As our knowledge of singing bowls grew we naturally refined our taste and began collecting in a more orderly fashion.  We developed a particular interest in certain bowl forms…the older Thadobati, large Jambati, Naga, Mani and especially Lingams, and endeavored to collect as many top quality examples of each as possible. 


Click here for help with Choosing a Singing Bowl.  Click here for information about Collecting Singing Bowls.


Rare Antique Tibetan Lingam Singing Bowl
A superb example of a rare museum-quality antique lingam singing bowl


Antique Singing Bowls - The Book


Fred Wilkinson is currently writing a book ‘Antique Singing Bowls’.  It will focus on the various types of hand-forged antique Tibetan and Himalayan singing bowl, and their unique physical and sonic characteristics.  It will also offer practical guidance on choosing, playing, and collecting rare antique singing bowls, and will be extensively illustrated with photographs of bowls from this private collection.  If you would like to receive advance notice of its publication date please sign up for our occasional newsletter here.