Tibetan Gau boxes & Amulets

Ga’u or Gawu is a item also known as box. Gau are generally made from hand hammered metals. The purpose and function of an amulet box is for general protection and protection when traveling. Amulet boxes are also commonly used to store all manner of materials such as small texts, blessing cords, consecrated , relics, and the like.

Types of Tibetan Gau Box

Gau boxs can be categorized according to their size, shape. According to the amulet boxes are found in shapes like shrine, square, round etc.

Usually there are 3 different sizes of the ghau which are small, and large. Each are used for different purpose depending on their size.

Amulet box comes is different size as small, medium, large. The small ones are usally worn around the neck containing precious and objects.

A medium sized amulet box generally has three parts: the metal container of whatever shape, a cloth outer covering with a buttoned fold for opening, and finally the contents of the amulet box which can be an image made of metal, tsa-tsa, cloth, string, medicine, or anything that is deemed special or blessed.

They often, but not always, have a small window on the front with a image inside. Typically the front is very ornate and decorated with the Eight and other motifs. Objects such as this were generally carried when traveling some distance away from home, such as on pilgrimage, or for extended business trips.

The largest of amulet boxes is typically in the shrine shape and follows the basic of the medium sized box. They are normally too large to carry and remain on a shrine in a home or .

Tibetan Gau form Private Collection

Shakyamuni Buddha Amulet box

Amulet box has stone setting finishing and it is from Private collection.

Origin
Date Rangej 1500 – 1599
Lineage
Material Metal, Mercuric Gild
Tibetan name དབུས་ཀྱི་སྣང་བརྙན་གང་རུང་།
Chinese name 任何中心人物
Collection Private
Finishing of Gau Stone setting finishing

Vajrakila Amulet Box

Vajrakila Amulet box has stone setting finishing and it is from Private collection.

Origin Tibet
Date Range 1500 – 1599
Lineage Buddhist
Material Metal, Mercuric Gild
Tibetan name རྡོ་རྗེ་ཕུར་པ།
Chinese name 金刚普巴(本尊)
Collection Private
Finishing of Gau Stone setting finishing

Mahakala Amulet Box

Amulet box has stone setting finishing and it is from Private collection.

Lineage Buddhist
Tibetan name མ་ཧཱ་ཀཱ་ལ། ནག་པོ་ཆེན་པོ།
Chinese name 玛哈嘎拉
Collection Private
Finishing of Gau Stone setting finishing

Padmasambhava Gau Box

Amulet box has Auspicious symbol carved o its outer surface and it is from Private collection.

Origin Tibet
Lineage Buddhist
Tibetan name དབུས་ཀྱི་སྣང་བརྙན་གང་རུང་།
Chinese name 任何中心人物
Collection Private
Finishing of Gau Auspicious symbol carved

Tibetan Gau form collection of Royal Ontario Museum

Tibetan Gau with window

This Gau is a portable Tibetan Ritual item made with silver. It has carvings and small window on the front. It is 17.50 cm tall. This is from the collection of Royal Ontario .

Origin Tibet
Date Range 1900 – 1959
Lineages Buddhist
Size 17.50 cm
Material Silver
Collection Royal Ontario Museum

Tibetan silver Gau

This Gau is a portable Tibetan Ritual item made with copper inlay and silver. It has carvings and small window on the front. It is 23 cm tall. This is from the collection of Royal Ontario Museum.

Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 – 1899
Lineages Buddhist
Size 23 cm
Material Silver, Copper Inlay
Collection Royal Ontario Museum

Tibetan Carved Gau

This Gau is a portable Tibetan Ritual item made with copper inlay and silver. It has carvings and small window on the front. It is 9.50 cm tall. This is from the collection of Royal Ontario Museum.

Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 – 1899
Lineages Buddhist
Size 9.50 cm
Material Copper, Silver Inlay
Collection Royal Ontario Museum

Silver Gau with 8 auspicious symbol

This Gau is a portable Tibetan Ritual item made with silver. It has carvings and small window on the front. It is 3.08 cm tall. This is from the collection of Royal Ontario Museum.

Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1800 – 1899
Lineages Buddhist
Size 3.80 cm
Material Silver
Collection Royal Ontario Museum

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About sadiksha

Namaste! I am a Nepali Art Dealer specialized in Mandala and Thangka paintings. I love to write articles about the monastic culture of the Himalayas.

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