indianamulets.com.au – ANTIQUE INDIAN AMULETS, ETHNIC JEWELLERY and ADORNMENTS
A small collection of 19th century Tibetan and Himalayan Silver Ga’u Amulet Boxes or Reliquary Amulets and ornaments for SALE. Almost every man, woman and child in Buddhist Tibet and the Himalayan area of India carries a variety of charms and reliquary amulets on the body, each intended for a different purpose.
As Tibet had remained closed to all but the most intrepid explorers until the late 1800’s early 1900’s, and the culture of Tibet also came under Chinese influence and was seriously affected in 1951 by a Chinese army invasion of Tibet that extinguished its former independence, and designated Tibet as the Tibetan Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China, makes theseÂ silver ga’u containers to hold and protect the various charms placed within, very precious items.
EACH ETHNIC ITEM IN MY SHOP IS SELECTED BASED ON AUTHENTICITY and ARTISTIC VALUE
My SHOP indianamulets.com.au – Antique Indian Amulets, Ethnic Jewellery and Adornments gives full details about each item shown
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I also have a shop on ETSY – JASMINEIUM – Antique Indian Amulets, Ethnic Jewellery and Adornments listing Antique Indian Amulets, Indian and Himalayan Ornaments, Tibetan Gau Boxes, Islamic, Central Asian Prayer Boxes, Antique Sri Lankan Jewellery and other old Ethnic Jewellery.
Lepcha?, Collection: Sir Charles Bell, Date of Photo: 1920-1921.The Prime Minister Lonchen Shokhang’s daughter on the right, with Captain Tsoko’s wife on the left. The two women are standing in a lavishly furnished room with carved wall panels. The women are wearing all the accoutrements of high status, such as amulets, beads and other jewellery, rich textiles, and elaborate Lhasa-style head dresses.
ANTIQUE BRITISH INDIA HALF RUPEE NECKLACE, HIMACHAL PRADESH
High Grade Silver, 195 grams (6.885oz), RARE
This Himalayan necklace is 80 years approx. and of high grade silver with antique British India half rupee silver coins and six quarter rupee coins, from Himachal Pradesh in northern India. It has been strung on a strong fine high grade silver rope chain with an S claps for closing. The 14 half rupees on the necklace show the denomination and dates from 1914 –1939 within a circle, and flower surrounds, and on the front side is a crowned bust of George V King Emperor (1910-1936), and George V1 King Emperor (1936-1952). There are six quarter rupee coins with dates 1876 to 1936, three are crowned bust of George V King Emperor (1910-1936), one Emperor and King Edward V11 (1901-1910) and two of Queen Victoria, Empress, coin dates 1876 and 1886. The coinage changed from ‘Victoria Queen’ to ‘Victoria Empress’ in 1877. The center coin is an old British India BENGAL PRESIDENCY Rupee. The total weight of the necklace is 195 grams (6.885oz.). The necklace can be worn either side but the floral units are on the face side. The length of the necklace is 27″ (69cm).
A COLLECTOR’S ITEM
LADAKH, DROKPA or BROKPA TRIBE AMULET, CAST GILT BRONZE
Width: 11 cm (4 1/4″), Height: 12.5 cm (5″), Weight: 112 Grams, (3.950oz.)
RARE: Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir State, India c. early to 1940’s amulet. This is a very rare large slighty convex amulet, cast gilt bronze. This is a distincively Dropka, Brokpa, Ladakh amulet worn to offer protection. The jewellery of the Drokpas do not allow any new or old ornaments to be sold outside the community. Dah, or Dha, and Hanu are two villages of the Brokpa of the Leh District in Ladakh in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir. Drokpa (or Brokpa) community is considered as the last race of Aryans, confined to the Dha valley. Their features are pure Indo Aryan and they have preserved their racial purity down the centuries. Around 2,500 Drokpas live in three small villages in a disputed territory between India and Pakistan. The only fertile valley of Ladakh. The Drokpas are completely different– physically, culturally, linguistically and socially – from the Tibeto-Burman inhabitants of most of Ladakh.
ANTIQUE BHUTAN KOMA BROOCH, BHUTANESE FIBULA
10kt Gilded over Metal Alloy, Himalayan Pendant, 39 Grams (1.375 oz.)
RARE: A mixed metal with 10kt gilt (now mostly worn off) Buddhist Symbols Bhutanese dress or cloak fasteners with inset of 1 small coral (glass)? stone, known as koma and is of openwork attached to a thick sheet backing plate. These are very hard to find because the Bhutanese authorities strictly prohibit the export of antiques and items related to religious history out of the country. This brooch has obvious wear and age from decades of actual use. The contours of the koma has been softened and has a superb patina, front and back. It is of characteristic traditional design and are used to fasten the kira, the garment of Bhutanese women, at the shoulders. The kira was worn wrapped around the body and secured with a wide woven belt or kera.
ANTIQUE TIBETAN GAU BOX, LHASA STYLE, LARGE, 19th CENTURY
Silver Front, Height: 12 cm ( 4 1/2″), Width: 12.5 cm (5″), Depth: 2.5 cm (1″)
Weight: 124.3 Grams (4.385 oz.).
This is a vey old classic Lhasa style box. The turquoises chips have not yet lost their luminousity. Over time the gau has lost several turquoise stones and there are several turquoise replacements. The 19th century Tibetan ga’u box whose form of two intersecting squares symbolize two crossed dorjes, symbol of the ultimate stability of Buddhahood. This style of Gau box was worn by women and popular in and around Lhasa, Tibet and Sikkim in northern India. The four sides are decorated with filigree. The back metal backing plate is in tact and fits well.
ANTIQUE TIBETAN GAU BOX, SQUARE
High Grade Silver Front, Copper Back, Coral, 149.5 Grams (5.275 oz.)
TIBET 18th – 19th Century. This is an antique Tibetan Gau or Ghau Amulet box with four genuine corals set in a bezel setting. The center mandala is one large coral in the centre of open lotus flower buds and four conch sells. The square surrounding the lotus flower are the Himalayan Buddhist Eight Auspicious Emblems.
ANTIQUE TIBETAN GAU BOX, NECKLACE, TIBETAN GLASS dZi BEADS, 19TH CENTURY
Sherpa Coral Glass Coral Rondelles, Heirloom Tibetan Turquoise, Mother of Pearl Beads
This is a beautifully preserved and intact classic Lhasa style low grade silver g’au box. The turquoises chips are all original – with no loss – and have not yet lost their luminousity. I found enclosed a printed mantra and a hand written prayer from the previous owner. The Gau Box is strung with an array of beads measuring 51 cm (21″) long. These beads are part of a complete Tibetan style costume and is typical of many in its combination of real and imitation beads.
ANTIQUE TIBETAN OVAL DOMED SHAPE GAU BOX NECKLACE
Tibetan Heirloom Turquoise, Translucent Tridacna Giant Clam Beads
Eyed Bodhi Seed Beads, Rudraksha Seed Beads
51cm (20″), 84 Grams
A COLLECTOR’S ITEM
This is a beautifully ornamented with filigree work, silver beaded wire and turquoise cabochons Tibetan Gau box and the oval domed front is of lower grade silver (80%) approx. dating from early to late 19th century. The front of the Ga’u is decorated with 17 turquoise cabochon inset in wax around a decorated silver bezels. (There are four turquoise stones missing).It is strung with a stunning necklace of antique Tibetan beads measuring 51 cm (20″) long.
TIBET, LATE 19th CENTURY, WOMAN OVAL GAU, GHAU RELIQUARY AMULET BOX
(With an applied chased 10 kt gilt over copper stylized Vajra or Dorje (thunderbolt) center piece overlay
a genuine lapis lazuli cabochon inset around a decorated bezel), 41.7 Grams (1.460 oz.)
This is a beautiful antique Tibetan Gau Amulet Box and the oval domed front is of high grade silver. The back section is made of copper. The front has beautiful high relief repousse work on all side and a chased gilt copper Vajra or Dorje (thunderbolt) stylized center added with a genuine lapis lazuli cabochon inset around a decorated bezel.
TIBET MID 19th CENTURY WOMAN’S OVAL GAU RELIQUARY AMULET BOX
With an applied chased 10 kt gilt over brass stylized Vajra or Dorje (thunderbolt) centre piece overlay,
a genuine coral cabochon inset around a decorated brass bezel, 48.6 Grams
With a parcel gilt Vajra or Dorje (thunderbolt) stylized center piece added, and a genuine coral cabochon inset around a decorated brass bezel, this c.1850’s Tibetan Gau Amulet Box with the oval domed front is of high grade silver, 92.5% approx. The back section is made of copper. Although worn in all areas, the oval-shaped silver gau was particularly favored by women in Lhasa and the southern border areas of Tibet, in Sikkim and Bhutan. The front has beautiful high relief repousse work on all side. The gilded overlay is held in place with a sturdy clip on the inside.
ANTIQUE TIBETAN WOMAN’S GAU BOX
Parcel Gilt, High Grade Silver, Turquoise and Coral
In Double Ogival Form, Ciral: 1850, 3 1/2″ (9 cm) x 3 1/2″ (9 cm), 89.5 Grams
This is a truly beautiful parcel gilt, high grade silver type in double ogival form ga’u, worn by Tibetan women and very popular in the border areas of west and south Tibet and in the Indian Himalayan districts. The central turquoise form a sacred vase (Sikkim: kalasa: Tibetan: bum-pa) that holds immortalizing magical ambrosia and stores all the hidden riches of the three regions of life and surrounded by very fine applied filigree wire of sprigs, flower and petal elements and coral and turquoise stones. The center has a gilt finish. The lower decoration is a stylised dorje ornament. The Ga’u still has the original copper backing plate. The front section of the gau box has been tested and is made from a high grade silver sheet 92.5% approx.
ANTIQUE TIBETAN GAU BOX, c. Mid 1800’s
High Grade Silver Front, Oblong, Filigree, Gilt, Genuine Coral Cabochon, 137 Grams
This Tibetan high grade silver oblong gau amulet box ornamented with gilt filigree work and a real coral was worn suspended from the top gadrooned tube. The lower decoration is a stylised dorje ornament. The central field is covered in separately embossed or stamped gilded filigree sprig leaves, flower and petal elements, surrounding a stylized “Tree of Life with the Axis Mundi” and central coral. The central field has been applied separately on top of the silver sheet and held in place by two beautifully tailored pins.
AMDO OFFICIALS, LABRANG, EASTERN TIBET, c. 1930’s
With Large Gau Shrines
Newark Museum Archive
CHAMDO, EASTERN TIBET, LARGE MAN’S GHAU, GAU AMULET BOX
Copper with Brass Overlays, Iron Inner Sides
Central Crossed Gems Symbol (Nor-bu-bskor-cha), 428.6 Grams
This is the only example I have seen with the four sides decorated in overlay brass as well as the top.
This beautiful large antique Tibetan gau or ghau amulet box displays the typical Tibetan decorative effect where one metal is overlaid on another on the top and side panels. The inner base side panels have tested for iron. The top brass face plate etched with the auspicious emblem of four Lotus Flowers and eight Lotus Buds joined together with flowing silk ribbons. The central cut out symbol is one of the Seven Gems: the Crossed Gem (T. nor-bu bskor-cha). The Yin-Yang (or contrary influences) is chased on the top brass plate and around the sides of the Gau Box. Height: 15cm (6″), Width: 11.5 cm (6 1/2″). Weight: 428.6 Grams (15.115 oz.).
Examples of Tibetan Square Men’s Gau Boxes
Courtesy of Himalayan Art – Ritual Objects: Amulet Box
ANTIQUE TIBETAN HIGH GRADE SILVER GAU BOX
with CENTRAL SHERPA CORAL MEDALLION
Men’s Round Ga’u Reliquary Amulet Box, 19th or Early 20th Century, 72.8 Grams
This is a very well made small Tibetan high grade silver, with central Sherpa coral medallion, men’s round Ga’u Amulet Box from the late 19th or early 20th century. The old Sherpa coral glass bead takes its name from the tribal peoples, ‘Sherpas’, who live at the foothills of the Himalayas and use these beads for adornment. It has an ornate front decorated with a circle of lotus petals and another circle of beaded and plated silver wire. The front box container has been tested, and is made from a high grade silver sheet 92.5% approx. It has three loops attached around the side of the Ga’u Amulet Box for hanging. The original copper backing plate is still intact.
ANTIQUE TIBETAN SMALL GAU SHRINE BOX
Height: 10 cm (3 3/4″), High Grade Silver Front Overlay,Gilded Copper Back
c. 1850’s, 130.5 Grams
This is a fine example of a Tibetan portable Gau Shrine and is in the ogee arched box shape. It is quite uncommon to find examples that are decorated with such fine silverwork. It comprises a high grade silver front overlay decorated in repousse and exquisitely chased floral and leaf scrollwork that is typical of Eastern Tibet, and within the scrollwork are the three dancing figures. At the center top is the Wish-fulfilling jewel Chintamani, and the center bottom is the monster mask of Kirtimukha and in each corner is an elephant and horse. The three mounting clips on the inside to hold the figure in place – are no longer there. The sides and backing plate are of copper. and the backing plate has been gilded. Two pairs of applied copper lugs are to each side to hold a belt or strap that is fastened to a belt and worn when the owner travels. The supporting clips to secure the silver front in place are no longer there. This Gau has been extensively worn and shows signs of wear all over but still in good condition.
ANTIQUE HIMACHAL PRADESH GAU BOX NECKLACE
Large Silver Enamel Gau Box, Pipal Leaf Dangles, 66 cm (26″) High Grade Silver Chain, 226 Grams (8oz.)
This is an antique (19th century) large pendant from, Himachal Pradesh, a northern India state in the Himalayas. The silver hexagonal Gau prayer box is decorated with the traditional blue and green enamels favoured by Kangra enamelists. It still keeps most of the blue and green enamels. The front two rows of pierced repousse borders are surrounded by decorated floral designs and an open lotus bloom for the center. The Gau prayer box is approximately 2cm (3/4″) deep and is missing the Gau backing plate.