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This beautiful snuff flask or box has been carved from a three-sided nut and fitted with silver mounts. The sides of the nut are very finely carved with scrolling floral and leaf motifs. The silver mounts are chased with petal borders and stylised orchid motifs.
The flask has a fine, faceted silver stopper.
Such work is synonymous with Sri Lanka where artisanship reached almost unparalleled heights in 17th and 18th century Asia when it came to the carving of nuts, wood and ivory. The work on the sides of the nut is reminiscent of that seen on the ivory boxes carved with stunning effect in southern Sri Lanka.
This piece is in excellent condition.
Coomaraswamy, A.K., Mediaeval Sinhalese Art, Pantheon Books, 1956 reprint of the 1908 edition.