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RARE Antique Tibetan Gau (Ga'u) Amulet Box Pendant – Large


A magnificent large and rare circular antique Gau (G'au, Ghau, Gao) amulet box, made in Tibet, late 19th century. This type of amulet is worn by Buddhist people and worn close to the heart. It would have contained personal devotions and prayers written on parchment as well as other sacred items inside its large cavity.

The front of the box is made from high-grade silver with traditional patterning around the edge and an ornate filigree design surrounds the central red coral raised cabochon and small turquoise cabochon. The back of the box is made of copper sheeting. At the base of the Gau is a dorje (thunderbolt) symbolising spiritual energy.

This is clearly a very old item, sporting a lovely worn patina throughout. It is attractive and highly collectible.


Late 19th century


High-grade silver, copper, coral & turquoise


13.5 cm (h) x 10.0 cm (w) x 2.7 cm (d)


186 g




cf. Stokmans, M.E. (2008) Ethnic jewellery from Africa, Asia and Pacific Islands: The René Van der Star Collection ; published on the occasion of the exhibition of the ethnic jewellery collection of René van der Star in the Rotterdam Kunsthal, the Netherlands. Amsterdam: Pepin. P174