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Charm box

Charm box

  • Place of origin:

    Chamdo (made)

  • Date:

    19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Hammered and chased copper box, gilt and chased brass image, partly tinted in colours

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

An amulet case or 'ga'u' of copper and brass was used to contain rolled prayers and blessed or holy objects believed to protect the wearer from evil. Such boxes were worn by men suspended on a strap or sash across the shoulder or around the waist when travelling.

Physical description

A charm box (Ga'u) made of hammered and chased copper containing a gilt and chased brass image of Yamantaka and a piece of red silk with a Tibetan inscription. The sliding front is open to show the image, and has a band of foliage at the top. Yamantaka is represented in his nine-headed form, with sixteen legs and thirty-four arms. The god and his Shakti stand on a lotus pedestal and trample numerous bodies underfoot.

Place of Origin

Chamdo (made)


19th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Hammered and chased copper box, gilt and chased brass image, partly tinted in colours

Marks and inscriptions

Piece of red silk with Tibetan inscription contained within charm box.


Length: 8.9 cm, Width: 6.4 cm

Descriptive line

Ga'u of hammered and chased copper, containing gilt image of Yamantaka, E.Tibet, 19th century.


Copper; Brass; Silk (textile); Pigment


Hammering; Chasing; Gilding




South & South East Asia Collection

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