Antique Minty 3d Carved Folkart Coquilla Nut Vinagarette / Pomander / Scent Box
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Antique Minty 3d Carved Folkart Coquilla Nut Vinagarette / Pomander / Scent Box:
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ANTIQUE MINTY 3D CARVED FOLKART COQUILLA NUT
VINAGARETTE / POMANDER / SCENT BOX
MINTY 3 DIMENSIONAL HAND CARVED FOLKART COQUILLA NUT
POCKET VINAGARETTE / POMMANDER / SCENT BOX ~ circa early 1800's
This is a rare Antique small pocket pommander / scent box / vinagarette; hand sculptured from Coquilla nuts, in minty condition. The Coquilla nut is the fruit of the Brazilian Palm, and is related to the coconut palm. The mature nut is about 3-4 inches long; and the hardness and the rich tan color of the shell when it is highly polished makes it ideal for a variety of pocket sized hand crafted items. From the 18th Century to around the middle of the 19th Century or so, nearly all Gentlemen and Ladies used a vinagarette, scent box or pommander to ward off the stench of open sewers in the cities that were in general use at the time. This piece appears to be a coquilla snuff box; but has a delicately pierced small slots in top that are hidden within the 3 dimentional carving, but are readily visible when opened. Thus, it is now designed to be filled with a dried potporri of dried flowers as a Pomander, a spice such as cloves used as a scent box, or with a small sponge saturated with a favorite perfume (like a vinagarette).
Coquilla pomanders are much rarer than the more fequently seen snuff boxes, but both are known in a variety of different shapes & sizes, and they are almost always have excellent craftsmanship. These pieces were en vogue from the late 1700's up to about 1850 or so. Some are oval shaped, retaining the general shape of the nut such as this one, with a 3 dimensionally carved domed top and bottom. The oval shaped top and bottom are 3 dimensionally carved from separate nuts and affixed with a small brass hinge. Some of these have hand carved scenes on one or more sides depicting religious, military, nautical, domestic scenes and traditional motifs. All are hand made, many are one of a kind, and were created by a skilled artisans; mostly by sailors on War Ships or trade vessels who had lots of idle time on their hands, and made carved items for sale to shops in the ports they visited, or as keepsakes, a memento or a love token. This piece has a traditional known 18th - 19th century pattern of a Cornucopia; i.e., a basket full of fruits depicting a boutiful harvest. The hand carving is exceptional, surrounded by a leaf pattern and a beaded border. The bottom panel is carved with a pair of kissing love birds. in what appears to be ceremonial trumpets below, that suggests this may be a Sweetheart Love Token. Most of these carved boxes are unique, and the carvings may appear mystical and hard to decipher; but had special meaning to the carver or the recipient.
Of the different styles in Coquilla nut boxes, this quality and detail is considered top of the line, with all surfaces profusely and deeply 3 dimensionally carved. All natural material shrinks over time, and most of these boxes no longer create a tight fit due to naturally occurring aging after nearly 2 centuries. The hinged lid has no wiggle, and when closing, has alignment at the front with a light snap when shut, and stays shut. As expected, there is some slight naturlly occurring shrinkage, and the ends of the top are curved upward about 1/16" at the sides where it meets the base; but is not distracting to the overall presentation. Note the inside of the box is concave due to the shape of the internal seed, and has been left in it's original unfinished condition. Remember, this box is old as dirt; yet this piece shows very little to no wear for it's extreme age of an object that was intended to be carried around in a pocket and used several times a day for a decade(s). This piece has a beautiful dark tan / medium brown naturally occurring patina overall, and is in exceptional, untouched condition that collectors love to see; with no damage, repairs or alterations. This small hand carved pocket piece is about 3" wide X 1 3/4" deep X 1" tall. Weight is only .8 ounces, or 23 grams. This is a charming, eye appealing Antique Folk Art piece from the early 1800's, is in Minty condition; and would be perfect for any Folk Art, pommander, scent box, vinagarette, smalls collection or display; or use as a keepsake, for knick knacks, a ring box, decorator, desk accessory or as a conversation & ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER, e-CHECKS & ALL MAJOR CREDIT & DEBIT CARDS THROUGH PAY PAL. PREPAID NEGOTIABLE U.S.A. BANK DRAFTS DRAWN ON A U.S.A. BANK CONSIDERED WITH PRIOR APPROVAL. INTERNATIONAL buyers MUST PAY VIA PAYPAL ONLY.
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