About this object

A woman's ga'u in the form of a mandala or cosmic diagram. The front of this case is covered in filigree decoration with additional settings of turquoise flower-like settings in the central panel and on the four triangular wings. In addition to this there are five settings of red glass, one at the centre and one each for the cardinal directions. This piece may have been made in Lhasa by a Newar metalworker. Such boxes were worn suspended on a strap or sash across the shoulder or around the waist when travelling. The contents are missing.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Religion; Container
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang
  • Date made
    19th Century Late
  • Materials
    Glass; Silver; Iron; Turquoise; Wax
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Mrs Evelyn Holden
  • Collector
  • Place collected
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    85 mm x 90 mm x 14 mm; 3 3/8 in x 3 9/16 in x 9/16 in

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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