Enquiry about object: 5054

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Tinder Pouch (Icag) with Silver Mounts and Floral Nephrite Plaque

19th century

length of pouch: 8cm, length of silver chain: 25cm, diameter of nephrite: 5.4cm



UK art market

This beautiful tinder pouch ensemble is special because of the presence of the original woven silver chain and attached floral plaque which has been carved from a translucent, nephrite-like material.

The pouch is of leather with a steel striker and decorated chased silver mounts. The silver decoration is to both sides of the pouch.

The top of the pouch has a prominent, engraved silver loop to which the woven silver chain is attached.

The floral stone plaque is decorated on one side with petals. It is plain on the reverse. A small floral silver plaque is attached to its centre.

According to Borel (1994, p. 170), Himalayan men would wear an icag on their belts as a sign of prestige. It contained a flint and some tinder to start a fire. The flint was for striking against the iron striker.


Berger, P., & T. Tse Bartholomew, Mongolia: The Legacy of Chinggis Khan, Thames & Hudson, 1995.

Borel, F., The Splendour of Ethnic Jewelry: From the Colette and Jean-Pierre Ghysels Collection, Thames & Hudson, 1994.

Tsultem, N., Mongolian Arts and Crafts, State Publishing House, Ulan-Bator, 1987.

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