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Very Fine Chased Silver Parasol or Cane Handle
Sri Lanka
19th century

length of silverwork: 21.5cm, overall weight: 140g

This handle of tapering, cylindrical form, was intended either for a parasol (umbrella) or a walking cane. It is encased in thick silver which has been chased all
over with leaf and flower lattice-work.

The motifs are typical of the silverwork that was being done in and around Kandy in the 19th century and is inspired by the orchids and the creepers of the
tropical jungle that surrounds Kandy.

There are no dents or repairs. An old screw protrudes from one end where the handle was attached to the rest of the structure. A handle is a mundane object
in some respects but this is an excellent example of colonial Sri Lankan silverwork.

References:
Coomaraswamy, A.K., Mediaeval Sinhalese Art, Pantheon Books, 1956 reprint of the 1908 edition.

Provenance: UK art market

Inventory no.: 4401

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The dense, tropical, creeper-filled environs around Kandy, Sri Lanka - the inspiration for the designs on this silverwork.
(Photographed in 2011.)