This is an antique
Tibetan Buddhist ga'u or reliquary box. Traditionally these are
filled with some sacred objects, relics and the like, and then
worn on a cord around the neck as a sort of religious talisman.
They are typically ornate and make for attractive jewelry but
they are in fact a mobile shrine, and one with protective
This ga'u is all copper and has an open "window" on the front.
This opening has beautiful hand-worked foliate etching in the
classic Himalayan style. The box is empty now, but this window
would have once revealed a painting of a Tibetan Buddhist god or
lama, or perhaps a tsa-tsa, the earthen image that serves as an
icon. Condition is very good and this box is an antique, from
Tibet and is 80 - 100 years old. A person could fill it with
their own sacred and empowered objects and wear it, or display
it as is, for those whose tastes are more "collection" oriented
rather than buying to use.
||Circa 19th C.
wide 4" high
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