Tibetan Gau - indianamulets.com.au

Panel with Five Transcendtent BuddhasVirupaksa, Tibet, Lapislazuli Gau Box, c. 15th Century

Virupaksa, Tibet, Lapislazuli Gau Box, c. 15th Century


Welcome to my SHOP with a selection of unique pieces devoted to the exhibition and online sales gallery of traditional ethnic jewellery specializing in Antique Indian Amulets, Indian and Himalayan Ornaments, Tibetan Gau Boxes, Islamic, Central Asian Prayer Boxes, Antique Sri Lanka Jewellery and other old Ethnic Ornaments.

My SHOP  indianamulets.com.au – Antique Indian Amulets, Ethnic Jewellery and  Himalayan Ornaments gives full details about each item shown

Please feel free to email to me if you require any further information about my products and it will be a pleasure to provide you with the information you require:

email: jasmineium3@bigpond.com

indianamulets.com.au - IconI 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.

Etsy Shop - Jasmineium Antique Indian Amulets and Ethnic Jewellery

Tibetan Ladies, Ernest Schafer, 1938-1939

This is 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 of fragments of a monk’s robe, effigies of Buddha and other religious relics.



Antique Chinese Carved Turquoise Beads
High Grade Silver Chain, 82 cm (32 Inches), 87 Grams

Antique Tibetan Gau, Chinese Turquoise BeadsAntique Tibetan Gau, Chinese Turquoise BeadsThis is a beautifully etched Himalayan Gau box and the oval domed box dating from the early to mid 20th century.  Although worn in all areas of Tibet, the oval-shaped silver Gau was particularly favoured by women in the southern border areas of Tibet, in Sikkim,Bhutan and Himachal Pradesh.  The front of the Gau is decorated with a central turquoise cabochon around a gilded decorated double Dorje. A double Dorje, or Vishvavajra, are two Dorjes connected to form a cross. A double Dorje represents the foundation of the physical world and is also associated with certain tantric deities.  The Himalayan Gau has high grade silver beads and two double Dorje silver beads. The high grade silver linked chain is quite long at 82cm (32 inches)  The antique carved Chinese turquoise beads are just beautiful.

Visit the SHOP – PRICE: USD $795.00

High Grade Silver Front, Copper Back, Coral, 149.5 Grams (5.275 oz.)

Group of Nomads with Gau Boxes from Labrang, Tibet

Tibetan Man with Square Gau Box

Tibetan Man with Square Gau Box

Antique Tibetan Gau, Silver and CoralAntique Tibetan Gau, Silver and Coral

TIBET – 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.

Visit the SHOP – PRICE:  USD $895.00

Sherpa Coral Rondelles, Heirloom Tibetan Turquoise, Mother of Pearl Beads

Height: 10 cm ( 4 1/4″), Width: 11 cm (4 1/2″), Depth: 2 cm (1″)
Weight: 250 Grams (8.8 oz.).

Tibetan Lady with Gau Box Necklace

Tibetan Woman with Gau Box Necklace

Tibetan Gau Box Necklace, Heirloom Beads

Tibetan Gau Box Necklace, Heirloom BeadsTibetan Gau Box Necklace, Heirloom BeadsThis 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 luminosity. 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.

Visit the SHOP – PRICE: USD $1,895.00


Tibetan Heirloom Turquoise, Translucent Tridacna Giant Clam Beads
Eyed Bodhi Seed Beads, Rudraksha Seed Beads
51cm (20″), 84 Grams


Tibetan Lady with Oval Gau Box Necklace

Tibetan Lady with Oval Shaped Gau Box Necklace, c. 1880’s

Tibetan Gau Box Necklace, Heirloom Beads Tibetan Gau Box Necklace, Heirloom BeadsThis 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.

Visit the SHOP – PRICE: USD $995.00

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


Tibetan Gau, Turquoise and CoralTibetan Gau, Turquoise and CoralThe 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.

Visit the SHOP – PRICE:  USD $750.00

“Tree of Life” with Axis Mundi

High Grade Silver Box, Copper Back, Filgree Gilt
Genuine Coral Cabochon, 137 Grams

Tibet Expedition Lhasa 1938

Tibetan Gau, Filigree and Coral Tibetan Gau, Filigree and Coral

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.  

Visit the SHOP – PRICE:  USD $895.00


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.

Antique Tibetan Gau, Eastern TibetAntique Tibetan Gau, Eastern Tibet


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.).

Visit the SHOP – PRICE:  USD $995.00

Large Silver Enamel Gau Box, Pipal Leaf Dangles
66 cm (26″) High Grade Silver Chain, 226 Grams (8oz.)

Himachal Pradesh Woman with Ornaments

Himachal Pradesh Gau Box Necklace Himachal Pradesh Gau Box NecklaceThis 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.

Visit the SHOP – PRICE:  USD $750.00


High Grade Silver, Turquois, Filigree
46 cm (18″), 3mm, Silver Snake Chain, 67 Grams

Women from Spitti, Himachal Pradesh with Cloak Clasps


Antique Tibetan Pendant, Silver, Turquoise Antique Tibetan Pendant, Silver, Turquoise

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-coloured wrap dresses over a blouse, and a colourfully 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.

Visit the SHOP – PRICE:  USD $795.00

Turquoise, Coral, Mixed Metal Alloy, 83.6 Grams, 73 cm (29″)

Tibetan Woman Wearing Hair Bead Ornament

Tibetan Pendant, Tibetan Hair Ornament

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.

Visit the SHOP – PRICE:  USD $295.00

Bhumisparsha Mudra, Meditating Buddha, Cast Brass, ca. 18th -19th Century, 370 Grams

Antique Buddha Statue, Sakyamuni Buddha Antique Buddha Statue, Sakyamuni Buddha

This is an antique Sakyamuni Buddha statue from the Himalayan region, Nepal or Tibet. The Buddha is seated in the Bhumisparsha mudra position. This Bhumisparsha mudra,
formed with all five fingers of the right hand extended to touch the ground, symbolizes the Buddha’s enlightenment under the bodhi tree, when he summoned the earth goddess, Sthavara, to bear witness to his attainment of enlightenment.  Buddha is seated on two rows of lotus petals above a stepped platform supported by lions, elephants and in the center a diety most probably Mahakala who is among the Dharmapalas or “Defenders of the doctrine” and can be recognized by their wrathful representations. Mahakala tantamounts to the Hindu deity Shiva.

Visit the SHOP – PRICE: USD $595.00

Antique Cobalt Blue Wound Glass Beads, Mixed Metal Alloy Silver Centre Bead and Melon Beads

 115 Grams, 48 cm (18 1/2″)

Nepal Tharu Necklace, Glass Beads Nepal Tharu Necklace, Glass BeadsThis 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.

Visit the SHOP – PRICE: USD $150.00

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.).

Visit the SHOP – PRICE:  USD $100.00

11 Three Eyed Beads Approx. 50 Years Old, 88.3 Grams

Vintage Tibetan dZi Beads Necklace, dZi Glass BeadsThese dZI glass beads were probably created in India for the Tibetan market and have been assessed to be approximately 60 years old. The Tibetan dZi vintage 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.

Visit the SHOP – PRICE:  USD $75.00

Himalayan Treasures: Adornments from Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Ladakh & Arunachal Pradesh
by Manfred Giehmann (Author)
Dr Françoise Pommaret (Introduction), Christian J. Creutz (Photographer)

The book is available from:


Himalayan Treasures: Adornments from Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Ladakh & Arunachal Pradesh by Manfred Giehmann

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, ISBN:9789811406560.

Himalayan Treasures: Adornments from Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Ladakh & Arunachal Pradesh by Manfred Giehmann

Tibetan Panel with Five Transcendent Buddhas