You haven't verified your email address yet

A Ceylonese black ebony, coromandel, porcupine quill and bone inlaid box, Colonial India, Sri Lanka, last quarter 19th century

Lot reference 17599345

Valid bid!

In order to place your bid, you'll only need to sign in or create a free account.

Already registered?

Waiting for extension Lot closed Open for bids in Lot closes in:

Fine condition. Original lock and key.

There are numerous variations of porcupine quill boxes on the market, and they vary enormously in quality. As a general rule, the more inlay and marquetry work that has gone into the box likewise quantity and quality of the porcupine quills used, the finer and rarer it is.
The existence of an inner compartmented tray and bigger size are good indication of a valuable box, vaulted top lid and interior with scenery is also a detail which signposts highest grade. Conversely, those with finer (higher fringe number) quills are much more desirable and thus valuable.
The most common Ceylonese ebony & porcupine quill store-box type are 8-9 up to 10 inches in width, typically among those boxes the plain lid and no inner scenery, as well as poor/ or absent inner inlaid and/ or absent inner tray - is the most spread version.
However, there is a small group of porcupine quill boxes that tend to be exquisite in the use of quills, ivory and bone inlay and inner adornment. In general, boxes larger than 12 inches wide tend to be superior; they were intended for the more distinguished client who could afford the extra size and detail as well as the quantity and quality processing deployment.

That model represents this kind (rarely exceed the 11-22 inches) of example of Anglo - Sinhalese porcupine quill box type associated with the southern Sri Lankan port town of Galle.
It shows one of the biggest sizes in its kind and a distinctive bone disc inlaid surface maximum, vaulted covering lid with inner scenery -and further inlaid- embellishment, its inner removable 9 covered compartment tray has massive ebony and coromandel planks, profusely ornated with dot overlay, geometrical indelible shellac patterns and brass pull-hoops embellished with pewter rosettes.
The vaulted box is made of solid black and coromandel ebony splints, strips and planks on a sandalwood skeleton. It is extravagantly allover ornated with porcupine quill panels bounded by inlaid ebony strips; the ebony strips are lengthwise on all sides and on the hinged ivory bone dot-inlaid lid. Likewise the upright-zigzagging motif quill panels. Its interior is fitted with a nine compartment tray. The vault´s roof displays a likewise inlaid ebony panel edged surrounded by a border of deep blue flannel-like fabric, the panel displays an opposing elephants scenery below southern Sri Lankan port town name 'GALLE'.

Together with the use of the quills finest sections and qualities used to make chevron patterns (fringed quill instead of plain quill parts and cream to brownish instead of lower quality yellowish ones) is associated only with the best quality victorian Anglo-Sinhalese craftmanship, created for export and sale to British and European aristocracy, diplomats and colonial army officers. Boxes such as this example were used by ladies to store jewelry, sewing utensils, and hair ornaments. Ceylon was part of the British Indian Colony and was not a separate country at that time, hence, the boxes that were made in Ceylon were (and are still) categorized as Anglo-Indian, despite being Anglo-Ceylonese. Those pieces were highly priced already to its time.

Fine condition. The hinged lid fits some unevenly (mm), seemingly due to some humidity fluctuation (considering its tropical Indo-Malayan origins and it's over 150 years of age, quite reasonable). Not a single inlay dot missing. There are neither further losses nor damages. Original inner tray. It retains the original functional lock and keyhole scutcheon as well as -less usual- its key. Seldom in this size and finishing standard. Black ebony (Diospyros celebica) wood, Coromandel ebony (Diospyros melanoxylon) wood, crested porcupine (Hystrix indica) quills, native elephant ivory (Elephas maximus maximus), bovine bone, sandalwood (Santalum album), vegetal fabric, natural (Laccifer lacca) beetle shellack ink, pewter, brass, iron. British Raj (colonial India), circa 1850 to 1870.

Provenance: Old Sevillian collection. Northern Castilian collection. Most probably in Spain already during the XIXth century. Dimensions: 31'6 cm Long x 22'4 cm Deep x 15cm High. Weight: 3,15 kilogram. Age & Authenticity expert certified stating its exact age (1850–1870) included.

References:
Coomaraswamy, A.K., Mediaeval Sinhalese Art, Pantheon Books, 1956. Jaffer, A., Furniture from British India and Ceylon: A Catalogue of the Collections in the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum, Timeless Books, 2001. Tchakaloff, T.N. et al, La Route des Indes - Les Indes et L'Europe: Echanges Artistiques et Heritage Commun 1650-1850, Somagy Editions d'Art, 1998. Veenendaal, J., Furniture from Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India During the Dutch Period, Foundation Volkenkundig Museum Nusantara, 1985.





Es Ivrea  

Feedback score: 100%
Reviews given: 12
Member since: February 28, 2016
  • Please note: some elements on this page have been translated automatically.
    goed verpakt , snelle levering en niet te vergeten een prachtige print!!!
    View translation Automatically translated. Turn off

    Huiself July 4, 2017

  • Please note: some elements on this page have been translated automatically.
    TRATO PROFESIONAL, SEGUIMIENTO PERMANENTE DEL ENVIO. VENDEDOR RECOMENDABLE
    View translation Automatically translated. Turn off

    JRSV May 8, 2017

  • Please note: some elements on this page have been translated automatically.
    Einfach alles perfekt, danke und gerne wieder!!!!!!!!!!
    View translation Automatically translated. Turn off

    alois594 March 8, 2017

  • Please note: some elements on this page have been translated automatically.
    El lote llego correctamente embalado y en buen estado. La descripción realizada por el vendedor se ajusta perfectamente a la pieza recibida.
    Valoración muy satisfactoria.
    View translation Automatically translated. Turn off

    Macguffin-one December 6, 2016

  • Please note: some elements on this page have been translated automatically.
    Un embalaje insuperable. El vendedor ha estado siempre pendiente de informar sobre todos los detalles del envío. Por mi experiencia, un vendedor muy recomendable.
    View translation Automatically translated. Turn off

    RTBF-1747885 November 18, 2016

reviews_txt = reviews_txt.downcase View all 12 Reviews

Delivery

The seller will ship the item(s) within 3 working days after receiving confirmation of payment.

Shipping costs are for mainland destinations only.
More information

Shipping costs

United States $110.91
Austria $56.69
Belgium $56.69
Canada $110.91
Denmark $56.69
France $50.52
Germany $50.52
Ireland $78.87
Italy $56.69
Luxembourg $56.69
Netherlands $56.69
Norway $85.03
Poland $60.38
Portugal $44.36
Spain $40.67
Sweden $78.87
Switzerland $60.38
United Kingdom $60.38
Rest of Europe $78.87
Anywhere else $110.91

Save shipping costs

You can pick up this lot from the seller: Valladolid (Valladolid), Spain.

If you win more than one lot sold by the same seller in the same auction, your shipment will be combined. In this case, only the shipping costs of whichever lot has the highest shipping costs will be applied.

We’re sorry, we're unable to accept your bid

Due to an outstanding payment, you currently cannot place any bids on Catawiki.

Once your payment has been processed, you will immediately be able to place your bids again as normal. Please note: If you decide to pay via bank transfer, your payment may take up to 2 working days to be processed. We therefore recommend using one of the direct payment methods available on our payment page.

Pay now

X
Not registered yet?
By creating your free Catawiki account, you’ll be able to bid on any of our 35,000 special objects up for auction every week.
or Sign in

Never miss another special object!

Catawiki auctions off 30,000 special objects every week. Leave your email address, and we will send you free updates on our special objects and great discounts.

No, I'm not interested in special objects or discounts