Enquiry about object: 9461

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    Spanish Colonial Silver Chocolate Pot

    Spanish Colonial South America, probably Peru
    19th century

    height: approximately 18.5cm, width (including handles): approximately 20cm, depth: approximately 15.5cm, weight: 812g

    Available Enquire


    UK art market

    This fine, squat, hemispherical bowl (olla), with a handle on each side, and which rises to a short neck, probably was intended for serving a hot chocolate beverage.

    It is of thick, high-grade silver, and is fitted with a domed, gently-tiered lid that fits tightly over the bowl. The lid has a bud-like finial around which a leaf or flower motif has been engraved. A heavy silver chain connects the lid (via the finial) to one of the handles.

    It is unusual to see such bowls that still retain their lids and chains.

    A small indentation mark on the underside of the bowl was made by the silversmith so he could swing his compass around to cut out a perfect circle of silver that could then be raised to make this bowl.

    The bowl has no maker’s or assay marks and so it is difficult to be precise about its origins, but it is definitely from Iberian Colonial South America, and most probably from Peru or Bolivia

    A silver lidded pomander illustrated in Torres della Pina & Mujica Diez Canseco (1997, p. 239) has similar proportions. This is attributed to Lima, the second half of the 18th century. Another is illustrated in Davis Boylan (1974, p. 145).

    The bowl is in excellent condition.


    Davis Boylan, L., Spanish Colonial Silver, Museum of New Mexico Press, 1974.

    Luis Ribera, A., & H.H. Schenone, Plateria Sudamericana de los Siglos XVII-XX, Hirmer Verlag Muchen, 1981.

    Torres della Pina, J., & V. Mujica Diez Canseco (eds.), Peruvian Silver and Silversmiths, Patronato Plata del Peru, 1997.

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