TYPE: Tibetan ‘gau’ or amulet box

CIRCA: mid 1800’s / 19th C.

A Tibetan Gau, or amulet container, traditionally used by Tibetan Buddhists as a repository to hold and / or carry a tsa tsa* (clay figurine), small statue**, holy item or other objects blessed by a lama (which can be as simple as the piece of yellow silk seen here), while the ‘window’ allows the precious item contained to be viewed. Gau’s were either hung around the neck (as the hand wrought side handles seen here allow) or carried close to the heart during travels as a source of blessing and protection. They are also often placed on the owners, or the homes, private altar. This simple gau is handcrafted from copper and was probably owned by a nomadic person, and as is common, made of two parts so whatever it contains can easily be placed inside. A genuinely old and well utilised piece.

*tsa tsa are small sculptural offerings used in Tibetan Buddhism that are made in moulds with clay or rammed earth, and are often placed inside a Gau and serve as a protection talisman.

**The small statue seen in one of the photos is not included, but only shown here as an example.

SIZE: Width – 7cm inc. ‘handles’

           Height – 7.25cm

           Depth – 1.75cm

MATERIAL: Copper & brass mixed

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