Enquiry about object: 8594
Cambodian (or Thai) Silver Water Flask
Cambodia, & possibly Thailand early 20th century
height: 30.5cm, width: approximately 14.5cm, weight: 624g
UK art market
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This tall, well-made and exceptionally elegant silver flask was made either in Cambodia or Thailand, most probably in the 20th century.
It has a domed foot, a flattened, spherical body, a tall neck, and a tiered cover attached to the body by means of a silver chain.
It has been elaborately chased all over with floral motifs in a trellis formation.
Such a flask might have been used to hold drinking water in association with an important feast, or was used to hold lustral water that could be ritually poured over Buddha images.
A related flask is illustrated in an old black and white photograph of Cambodian silverware taken in the early 20th century, and reproduced in Kong Vireak (2009, p. 35). A similar flask is illustrated in Bromberg (2019, p. 109.)
The flask is more likely to have been produced in Cambodia than Thailand – the motifs for both are very similar, but on this flask have a more Cambodian appearance. Also, the foot and cover are both stamped with tiny French import marks which also suggests a Cambodian provenance.
The flask is in perfect condition. It is an especially beautiful object with very fine silverwork.
Bromberg, P., Thai Silver and Nielloware, River Books, 2019.
Kong Vireak, Khmer Silverwares, UNESCO/Reyum Publishing, 2009.