Project Description

Antique brass and copper Buddhist Gau, Tibet

Rectangular copper woman’s gau box with cut-out brass overlay on the front and four birds amid leaves and flowers. The background dots often indicate Kham work. The copper sides are decorated with Whirling motifs called Gakhils, which are circular Swastikas representing endless change. Plain copper back. A second gau was often hung on the copper loop underneath the interlocking bottom lug.

Relic boxes from Kham were often heavy and made of two pieces of overlaping metals. Kham Province, Eastern Tibet. Similar gaus were also found in Ladakh and Spiti, Western Tibet.

Circa mid-19th century.

See “The Splendor of Ethnic Jewelry”, Ghysels collection, 1994, p. 161 for a gau with a similar cutout design.

It has been extensively worn and shows signs of wear all over – but still in good condition

Height: 11,5 cm (4,53 in )
Width: 9 cm (3,54 in)
Thickness: 3 cm (1,18 in)
Weight: 175 Grams