Enquiry about object: 8690
Tibetan Silver & Gold-Overlaid Iron Pen Case
Derge, Tibet 17th-18th century
length: 31.5cm, width: approximately 2.2cm, weight: 285g
UK art market
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This pen box comprises a long iron tube and a cap that fits over an internal sleeve. Each end terminates in a lotus-bud like finial. The cap and the rest of the box are both fitted with matched hoops which both keep the two parts together and allow for a suspsion loop to be fitted.
The box is amply overlaid with silver and gold, This has been achieved by finely scoring the surface and then hammering on thin segments of gold and silver wire to form the desired patterns. Such a method does not create a particularly strong bond between the metals and so there are some losses to the silver and gold overlay.
The decoration largely comprises leafy scrollwork in silver interspersed with 13 roundels in gold showing the Sino-Tibetan longevity symbol.
Other than rubbing to the silver overlay, the pen box is in fine condition.
Beer, R., The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs, Serindia, 2004.