Exceptional Colonial Portuguese Silver Coconut-Shaped Water Ladle
length: 39cm, weight: 665g
This exceptional example of colonial Portuguese Brazilian silver is a water scoop, in solid, high-grade silver. The bowl is decorated with elegant, precise fluting, and the solid-cast handle is of baluster form, with a solid silver ring at the end to all the ladle to be suspended.
Coconut shells attached to a wooden handle were used by the early Portuguese settlers to draw water from reservoirs and water tanks. Over time, the handles or rods were decorated with silver details. Later, the whole item was produced in silver, but the bowl retained the shape of a coconut.
Ribeiro de Oliveira et al (1991, p. 191) illustrates a related example, which is of almost identical form, including with the ring at the end of the handle.
Overall, this is a very fine and somewhat rare item. It is in perfect condition and yet has a fine, soft patina commensurate with tits age. It also has significant sculptural value.
Ribeiro de Oliveira, M., et al, Les Portugais au Bresil: L’art dans le vie Quotidienne, Collection Pimenta Camargo, Fondation Europalia International, 1991.Provenance:
Dutch antique market
Inventory no.: 3231