indianamulets.com.au – ANTIQUE INDIAN AMULETS, ETHNIC JEWELLERY and HIMALAYAN ORNAMENTS
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 these 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 Himalayan Ornaments 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.
LADAKH NECKLACE, OLD HEIRLOOM LADAKH BEADS
Himalayan Necklace, 48cm (18″), 185 Grams (6.5oz.)
Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir State, India c. early to mid 1900’s beads, recently restrung necklace in the traditional Ladakhi style with red cotton. The fashion in Ladakh and western Tibet for wearing multiple strands of necklaces traces back to the 14th century. This is a distinctively Ladakhi, Western Himalayas type of necklace combining three strands of salmon natural coral, turquoise focal stones, silver spacer beads and a fringe of drops of closed champakali (jasmine buds). All the heirloomed coral beads show signs of extensive wear as coral beads are handed down from generation to generation. The smooth deep sea green turquoise beads could be what is known as ‘Chalk Turquoise’ is not actually chalk; it is a form of low quality natural turquoise or could dyed synthetic Howlite turquoise beads.
HIMALAYAN NECKLACE, VINTAGE NEPAL GAU PENDANT
Turquoise, Coral, Silver Beads, High Grade Silver, 42 cm (16 1/2″), 67 Grams
This is a vintage silver, coral and turquoise pendant from the Himalayas, most probably from Nepal or Tibet.The pendant resembles the front of a Tibetan Gau Box and is a heavy, high grade silver 92.5% approx. with high relief repousse decoration of scrolling flower to each corner. There is a genuine turquoise cabochon in a bezel setting, and four small turquoise or glass stones. The Himalayan pendand is in the shape of a gau box whose form of two intersecting squares symbolize two crossed dorjes, symbol of the ultimate stability of Buddhahood. On the back is the symbol of two crossed dorges and in the center the symbol of the two golden fish. In Buddhism, the fish symbolize happiness as they have complete freedom of movement in the water.
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
Handwritten Prayer and Printed Mantra
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, SMALL, HIGH GRADE SILVER FRONT
Filigree, Turquoise, 22.1 Grams
This is a well preserved early 20th century small Gau Box in double ogival form. worn by Tibetan women and very popular in the border areas of west and south Tibet and in the Indian Himalayan districts. The central field is covered in separately embossed or stamped silver filigree sprig leaves, flower and petal elements, surrounding a stylized turquoise bezel “Tree of Life” and with the Axis Mundi”. The axis mundi (also cosmic axis, world axis, world pillar and centre of the world) is a symbol representing the centre of the world where the heaven (sky) connects with the earth. It has a border of very small individually applied lotus petal elements.
ANTIQUE TIBETAN GAU BOX, c. Mid 1800’s
High Grade Silver Front, Oblong, Filigree, Gilt, Genuine Coral Cabochon, 137 Grams
ANTIQUE TIBETAN GAU, TIBETAN GHAU, c. Mid 1800’s
“Tree of Life” with Axis Mundi
High Grade Silver Box, Copper Back, FiLgree, Gilt, Genuine Coral Cabochon, 137 Grams
This Tibetan high grade silver oblong Gau amulet box ornamented with gilt filigree work and a genuine old coral was worn suspended from the top gadrooned tube. The central field is covered in separately embossed or stamped gilded filigree sprig leaves, flower and petal elements, surrounding a stylized coral bezel “Tree of Life” and with the Axis Mundi”. The axis mundi (also cosmic axis, world axis, world pillar and centre of the world) is a symbol representing the centre of the world where the heaven (sky) connects with the earth.
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.).
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 INDIAN AMULET, HIMACHAL PRADESH, SILVER (50%-80%) PENDANT
46 cm (18″) High Grade Silver Turkmen Chain: 46.3 Grams
It is not very often that you come across pendants like this – early to mid 20th century old silver (50-80%) pendant worn by the women in the Himachal Pradesh State in northern India. The jewelers of Kangra, Chamba, Mandi and Kullu were famous for their silver jewellery skills. Kangra was the kingdom of Rajput in earlier days. They mainly worked with silver. The pendant is still in very good condition. The arrowhead form pendant has a double bale and can be strung on a single or a double strand. There is a row of decorative bells around the bottom of the pendant and a stylized “Tree of Life” in the center. You will note that there is one floral unit missing on the right hand side of the pendant.
ANTIQUE HIMALAYAN PENDANT, HIMACHAL PRADESH
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 Heirloom from Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, Woman’s cloak clasp or belt clasp. Women wear dark-colored wrap dresses over a blouse, and a colorfully striped, woven wool waist band. The belt clasp resembles the front of a Tibetan or Himachal Pradesh woman’s Gau Box backed by two hooks that are fixed into the woolen belt or cloak and is a heavy, high grade silver 92.5% approx. with filigree work and nine genuine turquoise cabochon in a bezel setting, and a 46 cm (18″) high grade silver snake chain. The outer perimeter is delineated with silver beaded wire, which serves to reinforce the form. This is followed by an outer row of very fine filigree endless knots, the second row a heavier chain of endless knots, surrounding a stylized lotus bud, symbol of purity and spiritual power, with a central turquoise. The lotus bud 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 PENDANT, TIBETAN HAIR 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.
LADKAH BEADS from an ANTIQUE LADAKHI NECKLACE
Three Strands for Jewellery Making, Total Weight: 70 Gram, Low Grade Silver Beads
Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir State, India c. early 1900’s beads, three strands from a very old Ladakhi necklace. The Ladakhi necklace strands arrived broken from shipping so I have decided to sell the low grade silver beads in a lot for jewellery making. The eleven hand made silver spacer beads have a bezel setting. The stones are now missing. Length: 2.5cm, (1″) , Weight: 41.8 Grams (1.475oz.) at $10.00 each. Ten fringe of drops of closed champakali (jasmine buds). Length: 3.3cm (1 1/4″), Weight: 17.4 Grams (0.615oz.) at $6.50 each. Fifty four small silver spacer beads, Weight: 10.8 Grams (0.380oz.) at $17.00. Total Weight: 70 Grams (2.454oz.).
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.
SOLD GALLERY OF TIBETAN GAU BOXES
Himalayan Treasures: Adornments from Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Ladakh & Arunachal Pradesh
by Manfred Giehmann
The book is available from Amazon
I have been presented with this fine copy of the book titled Himalayan Treasures – Adornments from Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Ladakh & Arunachal Pradesh by Manfred Giehmann which is currencly being released. indianamulets.com.au is very pleased to have five of its “Himalayan Treasures” included in this publication.
Himalayan Treasures – Adornments from Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Ladakh & Arunachal Pradesh features the private jewellery collection of Manfred Giehmann. Collected over 25 years during his numerous discovery journeys in the different parts of the vast Himalayan territory, the collection illustrates the region’s people heritage and culture. It offers the reader a comprehensive view of the jewellery and ornamental traditions from the many tribal groups living in this part of the world.
More than 500 pieces of jewellery and adornments are displayed. The amazing varieties of material, from gold, silver, brass, ivory, semi-precious stones, shells, horn, and leather… demonstrates the unlimited skills of the Himalayan jewellery craftsmen. This book has been written in recognition of their talents. In addition, an authoritative introduction by prominent French scholar Françoise Pommaret, gives the reader a glance into the lifestyles and social systems of the indigenous people of the Himalaya. Format:Hardback, Size:28.8 x 24.4 cm, Extent:264 pp, Publication date:30 July 2020, ISBN:9789811406560. More details will follow when available for purchase in stores and online.