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    Tibetan Turquoise Amulet Box (Ga’u)

    Lhasa, Tibet
    19th century

    width: 9.2cm, length: 9.2cm, depth: 1.6cm, weight: 63g

    Available Enquire


    UK art market

    This Tibetan turquoise-laden ga’u or amulet box is made of hammered silver sheet. The front retains all its original turquoise cabochon stones of which there are many – each of a rich hue and with splendid patina. It is further decorated with silver filigree scrollwork on the front.

    The central motif on the front plate comprises a stylised overflowing vase of longevity.

    The ga’u was worn suspended from a silver the tube attached to the top.

    The overall form of the ga’u itself is a double-square. Such examples were worn by women particularly in and around Lhasa.

    Overall, the ga’u has a dark patina and obvious age and wear. The reverse of the lower section might have had a dorje element attached but this is not present. The turquoise has a beautiful colour and contrasts pleasingly with the silver surrounds. It is in fine condition.


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

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