Gau Sterling Silver Prayer Box Pendant from Bhutan

$ 300.00
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  • Gau Sterling Silver Prayer Box Pendant from Bhutan
  • Materials: Stamped Sterling Silver
  • Measure approx. 1 3/4" x 1 1/8"
  • Many Buddhists in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, India use a prayer box pendant called a “Gau”. These Gau are made from silver, brass, copper, gold and other metals. Gau often have intricate designs, Auspicious Symbols and Mantras etched on their outer surface. Gau are sometimes studded with semi-precious gemstones believed to have various healing effects on the wearer. Turquoise, considered by many as a potent healing stone, and Lapis Lazuli and Coral are especially popular in Tibetan prayer box design for their beauty and healing properties. 
  • Gau boxes open to a concealed inner space, and might be used by Tibetan Buddhists to hold a picture of their favorite Deity or Lama, a folded up scroll of Sacred Mantras, special herbs or Sacred Relics. The Gau is used as an Amulet to help the wearer to ward off negative energy and attract blessings. Gau in traditional life are also used as a portable shrine, and are worn on a cord around the neck and hung close to the heart.
  • This precious small scale Gau is etched with the Ashtamangala; a Sacred Suite of Eight Auspicious Signs specific to a number of Indian religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. The symbols or "symbolic attributes" are "Yidam" and teaching tools. 
  • The most widespread Ashtamangala Symbols are the Parasol, a Pair of Golden Fish, a Conch Shell, a Treasure Vase, a Lotus, an Infinite knot, the Victory Banner and the Wheel.
  • Provenance: from the Collection of Lois Sherr Dubin. 
  • Lois Sherr Dubin wrote The History of Beads: From 30,000 B.C. to the Present (Abrams, 1987; reissued in paperback in 2004 and updated in 2009 as The History of Beads: From 100,000 to the Present), a beloved classic study and reference on the subject that has been published in five languages. Scholar, Researcher and Collector, Lois Sherr Dubin is also the world renowned author of several authoritative books on Native American jewelry and beadwork, and co-curator of numerous museum exhibitions including Totems to Turquoise: Native North American Jewelry Arts of the Northwest and Southwest; Glittering World: Navajo Jewelry of the Yazzie Family and Floral Journey: Native North American Beadwork.
  • On a personal note, Ms. Dubin's magnificent book The History of Beads: From 30,000 B.C. to the Present was one of the most important inspirations in the early days of Beads of Paradise NYC. When we first opened in the East Village 3 decades ago, Ms. Dubin's book was always on our sales counter as the authoritative guide to understanding the vast array and complexities of Cultural Beads and Adornments. To many bead lovers and admirers, this was our "Bible", and Ms. Dubin's Bead Timeline Map was hung prominently in the shop. Customers would line up in front of the Timeline, trace the origins of beads they were buying, beads they would like to order, or just plain beads they were dreaming of having someday.
    To this day, whenever a customer asks for a reference guide, or just a book dealing with beads, Ms. Dubin's book is still the top of our recommendations.