This large, round ga’u box, typically worn by a woman, comprises a silver front, sides and back. The two halves are hinged together.
The front is decorated with silver filigree arranged in scrolls, ‘pearled’ silver wire, and other applique work, all within a broad outer border of applied petal elements. It is inset with a central turquoise cabochon in a silver box setting.
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 bottom of the box is decorated with a silver thunderbolt (dorje) form with pyramidal finials at each end, and a suspension loop beneath to allow more chains and other decorative elements to be suspended form the piece.
The box is unusually large and in excellent condition with obvious age and a lovely patina.
The ga’u comes with an attractive, non-obtrusive, custom-made display stand.
Clarke, J., Jewellery of Tibet and the Himalayas, V&A Publications, 2004.