About this object

This shrine-shaped charm box or ga'u is decorated in fine repoussé work with the Eight Auspicious Buddhist Emblems. Inside is a small tsa-tsa – a clay plaque pressed out of a mould – which shows the historical Buddha.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Religion; Container
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]
  • Date made
    20th Century early
  • Materials
    Clay; Glass; Copper; Silver; Pigment; Textile
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, World Cultures
  • Acquisition
    From the Collection of Francis Younghusband
  • Collector
    Smythe, Frank; Younghusband, Francis Edward
  • Place collected
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    132 mm x 105 mm x 52 mm
  • Note
    Curator's note: Even in 1953, the provenance of certain objects within this acquisition (specifically items 1-7 in this accession) were unclear. Elaine Tankard was never able to get a definitive answer on certain items and whether or not they came from Frank Smythe or Francis Younghusband as Mrs Smythe and Eileen Younghusband's items were brought together before they came into the museum and whose was whose does not seem to have been confirmed, as it was noted from the documentation in the archives, that certain items with Frank Smythe had been given to him by Younghusband. Written by Emma Martin.
  • Related people
    Frank Smythe ( Collector); Francis Edward Younghusband ( Collector)

Explore related


  • 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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