About this object

Round silver fronted ga'u decorated with foliage decoration. Copper back with loop handles. Contents intact, including a circular painted tsa tsa of a Dharmapala figure and yellow silk cloth. Attached to the ga'u by a yellow cloth rope is an additional square cloth amulet, used to repel bullets, inside appears to contain a silk scarf or khata and wrapped threads of green, red and yellow colours.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Religion; Container
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Textile Silk; Feather Peacock; Clay; Glass; Silver; Alloy Copper; Fibre Yarn Cotton; Fibre Textile Cotton; Seed; Flint
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    From the Collection of H. G. Beasley
  • Collector
    Harry Geoffrey Beasley
  • Place collected
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang: Gyantse
  • Date collected
    May - June 1904
  • Measurements
    385 mm x 88 mm x 15 mm; 15 3/16 in x 3 7/16 in x 9/16 in
  • Note
    Curator's note: Label attached to the object reads:
    'Tibet. Charm against bullets taken from body of dead Tibetan at Dongtse monastery by Major...1905.' The Major in question is not identified. 1905 is incorrect, the Younghusband punitive expedition took place in 1903-04, with the expedition moving through Dongtse in May - June 1904. Beasley was not involved in the expedition, so collected this via someone involved.
    Reverse side of label reads:
    'Comprises in silver case - peacock feather clay cake with effigy fragments of Lama's robe packets of seeds of - fragment is imitation? of flint arrow head in scrap of ..... '
  • Related people

Where is this object from?

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  • Mission to Lhasa 1903-1904

    Start date: 1903
    End date: 1903
    Description: The British Mission to Tibet during 1903 and 1904 was an invasion of southern Tibet by British Indian forces on the pretence of negotiating trade relations between Tibet and British India. However, this was instigated primarily in the hope of preventing the Russian Empire from interfering in Tibetan affairs and thus gaining a base in one of the buffer states surrounding British India. The expedition was led by Colonel (later Sir) Francis Younghusband. It had a damaging effect on the British reputation, many Tibetans were killed and monasteries and houses were looted and/or destroyed along the way. The 13th Dalai Lama feld Lhasa before the arrival of the expedition and Younghusband negotiated, a soon to be repelled, convention with the Tibetan government or Kashag in Lhasa that was signed in the Potala on 7 Septmber 1904.

Object view = Humanities
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