3846

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Tibetan Silver Filigree Gau Box with Turquoise, Coral

Western Tibet
late 19th century

height: 10.4cm, width: 9cm, weight: 69g

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Provenance

UK art market

This six-sided ga’u box, typically woman by a woman, comprises a silver alloy front and sides, and a sheet iron backing plate.

The front is decorated with silver filigree work and other applique wire work, within a border of chased ribbing or petal elements. It is inset with a central turquoise cabochon and six coral cabochons.

Such a ga’u served as a protective amulet box and would have been worn suspended from the neck. The top of the box has a hollow tube through which a chain would have been threaded. The age of this box is testified to by the very substantial wear to this tube.

The bottom of the box is decorated with a silver thunderbolt (dorje) motif.

The item is in fine condition. There are no losses or apparent replacements.

References

Clarke, J., Jewellery of Tibet and the Himalayas, V&A Publications, 2004.

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