Antique Tibetan Gau, Buddhist Ghau Box, Silver 80% approx. Turquoise, 80 Grams
This type of rectangular ga’u container for relics, was worn by men, as the women’s rectangular ga’us always have a role as pieces of jewellery and tend to be more decorative that the equivalent men’s boxes, from the region of Southern Tibet or Sikkim dating to late 19th to early 20th century.
The central motif is a stylized 'Tree of Life' with the axis mundi infilled with a genuine turquoise stone and surrounded by applied filigree wire of sprigs. This is followed by a border of individually stamped three dimensional and applied petals of an open lotus, symbol of purity and spiritual power.
There is a turquoise stone in each corner. The ga’u was worn suspended from the top gadrooned tube which shows signs of extensive wear. The lower decoration is a stylised dorje ornament. There was a loop at the bottom from which hung suspended ornaments, but appears to be now missing.
The Ga’u still has the original copper backing plate, and the colourful traditional Tibetan woven strap is still attached.
The Gau front and side silver sheets have been tested for silver approx 80%.
Width: 2 5/8″ (6.5cm)
Height: 3 1/4″ (8.5cm)
Depth: 3/4" (2cm)
Weight: 80 grams, 2.82 oz.