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    Tibetan Woman’s Gilded Filigree Amulet Box (Ga’u) with Turquoise

    Lhasa, Tibet
    late 19th century

    width: 8.2cm, length: 8cm, depth: 1.4cm, weight: 49g



    UK art market

    – scroll down to see further images –

    This very fine ga’u box is of gilded copper and set gilded filigree and dozens of turquoise cabochons. It has a tightly fitting plate.

    Double-square amulet boxes (ga’us) such as this one were worn by women and were popular in and around Lhasa. The central motif of a stylised flower bud (and possibly a wish-fulfilling vase or kalasha) infilled with turquoise chips and set among gilded filigree wire is surrounded by motifs featuring more turquoise chips.

    The ga’u was worn suspended from the top gadrooned tube, which shows good wear. The lower decoration is a stylised dorje ornament which hangs at the bottom when worn.

    Ga’us held a variety of auspicious items and served as protective or talismanic devices.

    The ga’u here has beautiful patina and obvious age.



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

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