About this object

A men's rectangular charm box or ga'u. The body is made from copper with plates of decorated brass work pinned to the side edges of the box and in two apron shapes to the top, which are joined together by a oval piece of coral with a raised brass setting. At the top of the box are three circular lug handles which are held together with a strip of leather and at the base is a dorje-shaped fastening. The box still has some of its contents, even though it has been opened. Included are a piece of faded red brocade silk, a piece of daphne paper that is folded and would have once held an item, several dark brown spherical seeds of varying sizes and a Tibetan copper coin.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Religion; Container
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]
  • Date made
    19th Century Late
  • Materials
    Textile Silk; Leather Skin; Coral; Copper; Brass; Seed; Paper Plant
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    From the Collection of Francis Younghusband
  • Collector
    Francis Edward Younghusband
  • Place collected
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    110 mm x 97 mm x 40 mm; 4 5/16 in x 3 13/16 in x 1 9/16 in
  • Related people

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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