Tibetan gau boxes come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but
this is one of the most common form of the larger gaus. It was
made to be either placed on an altar or worn on the person. The two
lugs on either side allow for a strap so it can be easily
tied around the waist or hung over the shoulder.
A gau of this size can hold a wide variety of objects, all
of a sacred or protective nature. This could in ...click for details
Bhutanese love their monkeys. They are featured in Buddhist folklore, every twelfth year is a year of the monkey, and they
have several endangered species. They are also very fond of monkeys carved of wood and find many uses for them. They are often
found decorating the handle of embroidery stretchers and other household objects. Here this carved wooden monkey
holds his hands together to steady an incense stick. Other incense sticks can be fitted into his elbows and also in the holes along ...click for details
The mountain villages of Nepal used to be full of wonderfully
carved wooden items no matter how humdrum the function. These examples
of a rich material culture are slowly vanishing as fashions change and
the older generations die out. Villages are no longer so isolated and
slick new imports replace what once had to be produced locally by hand.
This traditional wooden wrist guard is a good example. Not only
di ...click for details
The Tharu people live in the Terai region of Nepal on the northern border of India. Their traditional religion has been greatly
influenced by Hinduism, yet traditional practices endure. Ceramic horses such as this one were made as offerings and were kept in
Tharu village shrines.
The Tharu people live in the Terai region of Nepal on the northern border of India. Their traditional religion has been greatly influenced by Hinduism, yet traditional practices endure. Ceramic horses such as this one were made as offerings and were kept in Tharu village shrines.
This terracotta horse is at the small end of the scale, measuring 4-3/4 inches long and 2-1/2 inches high.
...click for details
Modeled after a very traditional Nepalese style necklace (see our offering 20063), this necklace is composed of fifteen beads, east one inch in diameter and approximately 5/8 inches wide. They are made in the traditional manner of thin sheets of silver foil over a resin base. The bead portion of the necklace is 10-1/2 inches long. The overall length of the necklace is 19 inches.
This is a very old iron-tipped phurba with a
shiny dark patina. Phurbas like this one with iron tips were often used by shamans for agricultural purposes. They would be driven into the ground in groups, either to protect fields from misfortune or to trap malevolent spirits and dispatch them.
Often overlooked among Tibetan wooden artifacts are their footed trays. These were actually a fairly common possession, both in the home and in the monastery. They come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and decorations, but all share several common features. Almost all are footed and with steep sides and the corners are almost always joined with a fairly simple dovetail. Beyond that, they can vary a great deal. Some are pine, others are hardwood. Some are elaborately carved and painte ...click for details
This silver stupa would likely have been used as an altar piece in a Tibetan shrine room. It is modeled after a very typical Tibetan style stupa, surmounted with a finial of thirteen rings and with a gilt sun and moon. The rectangular base is decorated with Tibetan auspicious symbols.
The piece is 8-1/2 inches high and is four inches square at the base. Originally it contained four semi-precious stones at the cardina ...click for details