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
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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.
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ANTIQUE NEPAL JANTAR, NEPAL GAU BOX, TIBETAN GAU BOX
Turquoise, Mixed Metal Alloy, Gilt, 65 Grams
19th Century. Like the Tibetan Gau Amulet Boxes, Jantars were used to contain prayers written on paper or other blessed objects believed to protect the wearer. This Jantar is completely covered in aged tarnish.
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 LADAKH NECKLACE, TURQUOISE, CORAL, SILVER
High Grade Silver, Three Strands, 52 cm (20 1/2″), 80 Grams
The antique Ladakhi necklace with three strands of very old and well worn coral and hand made silver spacer beads falls from a three holed spacer bead. At the middle each strand is four traditional Ladakhi lotus bud flowers, two focal beads and a round silver bead, and a very old turquoise bead with the smooth surface in the inside of the hole as a true signatures of age. The chain at the top of the necklace is handmade and in tightly connecting loops. The necklace itself is strung on red string with a brass woven end. The S-hook closure is newer. The necklace measures: 52 cm (20 1/2″) long. There are 64 coral beads in all.
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.
ANTIQUE TIBETAN BELT BUCKLE CLASP FOR APRON
as a PENDANT NECKLACE, TIBET
High Grade Silver, Turquois, Filigree, 46 cm (18″), 3 mm, Silver Snake Chain, 67 Grams
A COLLECTOR’S ITEM
This is an antique (late 19th century or early 20th century) large silver traditional decorative Tibetan Woman’s belt buckle clasp for aprons. Women wear dark-coloured wrap dresses over a blouse, and a colourfully striped, woven wool apron, called pangden and signals that she is married. They are a multi-coloured, striped apron and are usually three panels and the colours can range from shades of one color to a full-on rainbow. These buckles are resembling the front of a Tibetan woman’s Gau, backed by two hooks that are fixed into the woollen apron. The heavy high grade silver 92.5% approx. pendants with filigree work and several genuine turquoise cabochons in a bezel setting. The outer perimeter is delineated with silver beaded wire. This is followed by an outer row of very fine filigree endless knots. The lotus buds hangs upside down as the bottom bale is used for hanging. All the round silver beads covering the joins are the Yin-Yang symbol (or contrary influences) and represent the belief that everything in the universe consists of two forces that are opposing but complementary.
ANTIQUE TIBETAN TURQUOISE HAIR BEAD ORNAMENT PENDANT
High Grade Silver Snake Chain, Turquoise, Coral, 33 Grams, Bead Length: 6 cm (2 1/4″)
This is a late 19th century or early 20th century traditional high grade silver and turquoise cabochon bead hair ornament from Tibet, with a mixed metal backing plate made as a pendant. This bead is in the shape of conch shell. It has a very old genuine coral bead and silver dangles. It has been strung on a new sterling silver fine 1.8 mm (46 cm, (18″) snake chain with a S clasp for closing.
ANTIQUE TIBETAN PENDANT, TIBETAN HAIR BEAD ORNAMENT
Turquoise, Coral, Mixed Metal Alloy, 83.6 Grams, 73 cm (29″)
This is a rather large, late 19th century or early 20th century traditional mixed metal alloy, with very low silver content Tibetan Hair Bead ornament pendant worn by married women. The front is decorated with four turquoise stone cabochons and a central coral bead set in lac. There is very fine silver twisted wire beading and a circle of raised shot beads around the centre stone. There is a row of repousse lotus petals.
ANTIQUE NEPALESE THARU NECKLACE
Antique Cobalt Blue Wound Glass Beads, Mixed Metal Alloy Silver Centre Bead and Melon Beads
115 Grams, 48 cm (18 1/2″)
This is a antique handmade Nepalese, (Kakar-manka), mixed metal alloy and antique cobalt blue wound glass beads necklace from the Tharu women in the Dang District of Nepal. The above photo illustrates the necklace. This style of necklace is also in the collection at the Quai Branly Museum. No. 71.1967.58.15 in Paris. The centre bead is over 100 years old and the necklace on one side has been restrung at some stage in a different colour cotton thread. I have not polished the necklace, but the mixed metal alloy melon beads (8) and centre bead will polish up beautifully. The 10 cobalt blue wound glass beads really catch the light and are also probably late 19th to early 20th century. It has old leather extensions and a button for closing.
ANTIQUE TIBETAN TURQUOISE HAIR BEAD ORNAMENT
High Grade Silver, Turquoise, 29.6 Grams, Length: 6 cm (2 1/4″)
ANTIQUE TIBETAN TURQUOISE HAIR BEAD ORNAMENT
High Grade Silver, Turquoise, 26.9 Grams, Length: 6 cm (2 1/4″)
This is a rather large, late 19th century or early 20th century traditional high grade silver and turquoise cabochon bead hair ornament from Tibet. This teal-green to lime-green coloured turquoise is found with many signs of heavy wear. Its matrix appears in small patches. This uncommon type of turquoise may be as much as 500 years old and from a mine no longer in production.This comparison detail is taken from:
VINTAGE TIBETAN dZi BEAD IMITATION (GLASS) NECKLACE
11 Three Eyed Beads Approx. 50 Years Old, 88.3 Grams
These dZI glass beads were probably created in India for the Tibetan market and have been assessed to be approximately 50 years old. The Tibetan dZi vintage imitation glass beads necklace on the original cotton thread strand with mixed metal silver spacer beads. The beads shown here and are mostly of the common three eyed type. The average bead size is between 3 cm and 3.5 cm long, 1.3 cm to 1.5 cm wide and they do have a lovely patina. Each bead weighs between 6 to 9 grams.