This is a very interesting pair of antique gaus from Tibet. They are strung on a wide braided cotton cord to allow them to be worn comfortably across the body. They were aquired together in this way and have been left in their original found condition. The largest gau is crafted from copper and is decorated with Auspcious Symbols and has a viewing window.
Inside the gau is a wooden votive statue that shows signs of considerable age [believed to be much older than the gau]. The Lama sits in full lotus posture and holds a skull cup in his left hand and there are faint traces of red paint on his robes. His right hand has long since been lost and perhaps once held a Vajra or was in the mudra of teaching. The base of the statue has been sealed with pitch, so it has clearly been consecrated and most likely filled with with precious substances and/or relics as part of the consecration process. Typically this can include a combination of semi-precious stones, excerpts from religious texts, and blessed substances such as barley kernels, protection cords, or juniper incense.. Out of respect for this relic, which is sacred to Tibetans, the statue has not been opened..
The round smaller Gau has a copper back and a silver filigree front and possessed a glass cover of the window. Four small inlaid turquises decorate the front. Inside is a small tsa tsa of the eleven headed Avalokiteshvara and a Sadhana with Tibetan text.
Age of gaus 19th cent. [The wooden votive statue is believed to be much earlier] Gau condition: Very Good with minor weathering and patina commensurate with age.
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