New Inventory

A Golden Box of Treasure

Gau with back removed

A little bit about that cool pendant hanging from our Forsythia necklace... It is a gold-plated silver and turquoise gau, or treasure box, that opens up to hold keepsake items much like a locket would. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, where gaus originated, the box would be filled by a lama with prayers, precious substances, and/or relics and then blessed. It would be worn like an amulet around the neck and near the heart to provide protection and good fortune. For active practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism, it also serves as a reminder of one's commitment to attain enlightenment for the benefit of others.

This 19th century gau is 4" high and is for sale from one of my favorite dealers. Click on image for more pictures and information.

This 19th century gau is 4" high and is for sale from one of my favorite dealers. Click on image for more pictures and information.

Gaus come in all sizes. Larger treasure boxes often hold a sculpture of a Buddha or diety and are worn over the shoulder and across the chest instead of around the neck. As Tibetans were largely nomadic, even their ritual objects were designed for traveling, and a large gau could be worn while trekking then placed on an altar at one's destination.

The finely-detailed gau on Forsythia is a mere 1 1/4" long and is awaiting your personalized treasures. There are many things you could fill it with. A recent customer plans to fill the sterling and turquoise gau pictured below with her dog's ashes. I gave a sterling and lapis gau to my mother-in-law filled with locks of hair from each of my children's first haircut. While the back of the gau on Forsythia is certainly tight enough to secure your items, if you would like extra peace of mind I can tie the box closed with a red cord once it has been filled. To ensure delivery by the holidays, custom orders must be placed by the end of this week.