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Rare Silver & Enamel Butter Lamp
China for the Tibetan Market
late 19th century

height: 14.7cm , diameter: 11.4cm, weight: 343g

This elegant, solid silver yak butter lamp was most probably made in China for the Tibetan market, or made in Tibet by a local Chinese.  It has been decorated
with chiselling and applied work, and unusually, it has been further decorated with multiple-coloured enamel work.

Such a lamp was intended for use on an altar. It would have been filled to the brim with yak butter oil in which a single wick was placed.

The baluster-form stem is richly cast with prominent, cascading lotus petal decoration. The rest of the stem comprises a vase of longevity motif festooned with
strands of 'jewels' with enamel highlights.

The outside walls of the lamp are decorated with bands of applied lozenges, in relief.

The lamp has no repairs or dents, but has a fine patina associated with age and use.

The underside of the bowl of the lamp is stamped twice in Chinese with
 榮 和 - which transliterates to 'Rong He' and approximates as 'wealth, glory' and
'harmonious'. This is likely to be a retailer's name.

References:
Pal, P., Art of the Himalayas: Treasures from Nepal and Tibet, Hudson Hills Press, 1991.

Provenance: UK art market

Inventory no.: 4045 SOLD

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