Surprising Items!

Selected here are items from our stock with surprising stories. Indeed, the best way to summarise our business is that we sell stories – with an object attached. The objects chosen here are designed to pass the ‘dinner party test’ – bring the item out after dinner and people note it out of politeness but then tell them what it is or how it was used and watch as they become enthralled by the item and how it ignites discussion.

Click on each item and read its story – discover why we think it is interesting and worthy of note.

Each item is available for sale.

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5771

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Pair of Mughal Double-Headed Steel Belt Hooks

Northern India
17th century

heights (without stand): 9.8cm, heights with stands: 13.5cm & 15cm

Available - Find out more

Provenance

UK art market

5004

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Pair of Miniature Brass Paduka Sandals for a Deity

Deccan, India
18th-19th century

length of each: 11.8cm, width: 7.3cm, height: 7cm, combined weights: 677g

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Provenance

Collection of (the late) Paul Walter; probably acquired in London.

5483

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Malay Princely Quail Trap (Jebak Puyuh)

Malay People, Malaysia, probably Terengganu
early to mid-20th century

length: 30.8cm, height: 31cm, depth: 26cm

Reserved

Provenance

UK art market

5085

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Chinese Long Tortoiseshell & Gilded Silver Fingernail Guard

China
19th century

length: 10cm, weight: 7.3g

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Provenance

UK art market

4752

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Woman’s Mother-of-Pearl & Bone Inlaid Wooden Stilted Clogs (Qabqab)

Ottoman Turkey
19th century

heights (without upper straps): 15.2cm, overall heights: 19.5cm, length: 23.2cm

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Provenance

UK art market

5992

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Burmese Bronze Noodle Maker

Burma
19th century

height: 16.6cm, width: 27cm, weight: 2,907g

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Provenance

UK art market

5724

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Zulu Wooden Ear Plugs with Bakelite Tile Decoration

Zulu People, South Africa
circa 1940

diameters: 5.5cm, thickness: 0.8cm

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Provenance

private collection, UK

3914

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Ifugao Wood, Rattan & Pig Tusk Armband (Baningal or Abkil)

Bontoc or Ifugao People, Northern Luzon, Philippines
19th–early 20th century

height: 12cm, diameter: 10.5cm

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Provenance

private European collection.

5192

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Indian Gold & Pearl Nose Ring

India, probably Rajasthan
circa 1900

width: 3.3cm, weight: 5.05g

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Provenance

private collection, UK.

3604

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Indian Stained Ivory Pehlwani Wrestlers

Northern India, probably Rajasthan
circa 1750

height: 8.8cm

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Provenance

UK art market

2449

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Ifugao Carved Wooden Ladle or Dipper

Kalanguya People, Southern Ifugao, Philippines
early 20th century

length: 24.5cm

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Provenance

Scottish art market

2185

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Sepik Earthenware Roof Ridge Tile with Pigments

Chambri Lakes, Sepik River, Papua New Guinea
early 20th century

height: 42cm, width: 25.5cm

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Provenance

Francis de Sales McHugh Collection, collected by de Sales McHugh in the early 20th century.

2586

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Philippines Lidded Limestone Burial Jar

South Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines
8th-9th century

height: 69cm, width: 30cm

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Provenance

UK art market; UK private collection; acquired from Patricia Withofs, 1984.

4408

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Ram Darbar Temple Token (Ramatanka)

India
circa 1900

diameter: 2.8cm, weight: 11.65g

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Provenance

UK art market

1988

Enquiry about object: 1988

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Ceremonial Fijian Wooden Four-Tined ‘Cannibal’ Fork

Fiji
early 19th century

length: 24.6cm

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Provenance

private collection, Guernsey.

3466

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English Tavern or Publican House Willow Nine-Pin Skittles Set

West Country, England
18th-19th century

heights (approx.) 30cm each, and 40cm for the king pin

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Provenance

UK private collection

3539

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Yoruba Carved Wooden Figure of Queen Victoria

Yoruba, Nigeria
late 19th century

height: 32.5cm

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Provenance

UK art market

5840

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Mongolian Polychrome Dancing Citipati Group

Mongolia
19th century

height: 60cm, width: 53cm

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Provenance

Private collection, England.

5424

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Ritually-Worn Tibetan Cast Bronze Buddha

Tibet
circa 16th century

height: 10.6cm, width: 7.8cm

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Provenance

acquired by the previous owner in London in March 1991.

4267

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Woman’s Wooden Lip Plate

Kichepo People, Sudan, & Surma People, Sudan/Ethiopia
19th-early 20th century

width: 13.3cm, length: 9.6cm, thickness: 1.6cm

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Provenance

private London collection.

2993

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Kerala Brass Finger Ring Cast with Santa Claus’ Sleigh & Eight Reindeers

Cochin (Kochi), Kerala, India
20th century

length: 6.5cm, height: 5.3cm, weight: 40g

Available - Find out more

Provenance

UK private collection; acquired by the owner in Kerala.

4366

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Collection of Twenty Indian Hindu Temple Bronze Body Stamps (Chhapa)

Orissa & Bengal, India
18th & 19th centuries

length of the longest: 11.2cm, diameter of largest: 8cm

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Provenance

UK art market

4676

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Rare, Brass Toad-Shaped Flask

Tibet
circa 18th century

height (with stopper): 37cm

Available - Find out more

Provenance

UK art market

3932

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Man’s Ear Ornament (Sabau) of Carved Hornbill Casque (Beak)

Kenyah/Kayan Dayak People, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia
early 20th century

height: 4.6cm, length: 10.2cm, width: 4.1cm, weight: 51g

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Provenance

Acquired in the UK, from the estate collection of Dr George Yuille Caldwell (1924-2016). Dr Caldwell, an English-born physician moved to Singapore in the 1950s, from where he built up a collection of mostly Borneo-related textiles and other ethnographica.

3298

Enquiry about object: 3298

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Iron Trisula

Java, Indonesia
circa 18th century

length: 40cm

Available - Find out more

Provenance

UK art market

1595

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Rare Solomon Islands Christian Altar Cross Inlaid with Pearl Shell

Solomon Islands
circa 1900

height: 62cm, width: 33cm, depth: 19.5cm

Available - Find out more

Provenance

Adam Prout, London.