Nepal. End of 1800 AD. Ancient ritual Kartika Axe. 3.79 Kg. – 8 inch x 8 inch. Traces of old gilt. Very Rare. A kartika is a crescent-shaped hand-held ritual flaying knife used in the tantric ceremonies of Vajrayana Buddhism. The kartika is said to be “one of the quintessential attributes of the wrathful Tantric deities.” It is commonly known as the “knife of the dakinis.” While the kartika is normally held in the right hand of a dakini in Vajrayana iconography and spiritual practice, occasionally it can be seen being held by esoteric male deities, such as certain forms of Yamantaka. It is also found frequently in the iconography of the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual practice of Chöd.