Antique 18th -19th c Tibetan Gau Reliquary Portable Altar Shrine Prayer Box
A Rare authentic, antique 18th -19th century, superb quality Tibetan Gau reliquary portable altar shrine prayer box of ogee arch shape. The front panel is made of solid high grade silver, finely repousse and hand chiseled in high relief, the center with trefoil window like a torana temple gateway, within a beaded border, guarded at the top by a Garuda eagle fights the naga snake, and on the bottom by a kirttimukha (face of glory) which hovers above a central Mt Meru flanked by waves in the lower edge of the gau. The sides adorned with eight Buddhist Auspicious Symbols amid scrolling tendrils. The copper sides with lugs on each side to hold a belt or strap and worn when the owner travels.
CONDITION: Showing age and usage, the silver beaded borders are worn out on the exposed areas due to a long time of usage. The copper sides have dings and dents with a natural dark brown patina; such a natural patina requires a long time to slowly build on the surface of the copper. The coper back panel for closing and the contents are absent, consistent with age.
It is very uncommon to find an authentic 18th -19th century antique example of a Portable Altar Shrine Gau. Most of the Gau Shrines on the market are contemporary objects recently made in Tibet with the front plate made of white metal and not of pure silver and with poor quality repousse ornamentations.
Height: 10 cm (3.94 inches)
Width: 7.5 cm (2.95 inches) not including lugs
Depth: 4 cm (1.57 inches)