About this object

Small copper gilt ga'u in the form of a portable shrine. The front panel is made from silver and is covered with repousse decoration, including the eight auspicious Buddhist symbols and foliage. There is a beaded edge to the outer and inner edge. The decoration is in the style of central Tibet. The back panel is made from copper and remains pinned in place. The contents are intact and include a paper mantra and a piece of red cloth, which are placed behind a brass plaque of Chenrezi that has been gilded. The front window of the ga'u is covered with a broken piece of glass.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Textile Silk; Glass; Copper; Silver
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from the collections of Norwich Castle Museum, 1956
  • Collector
    John Claude White
  • Place collected
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    120 mm x 99 mm x 37 mm; 4 3/4 in x 3 7/8 in x 1 7/16 in
  • Related people
    John Claude White ( 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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