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Rare Parcel-Gilt Silver Lotus-Form Lamp
Tibet or Nepal
height: 17cm, weight: 209g
This remarkable lamp appears to have no parallels, published or otherwise. It is in the form of a plump, artichoke-like lotus bloom, made of silver with
parcel-gilding (gold plating) and most probably was designed to decorate an altar. Included are smaller flowers on stems that run along the main stem and
these are inset with turquoise and garnet cabochons.
The lotus and accompanying flowers rise from a circular, flared base decorated with gilded lotus petals. The upper-side of the base is engraved with scrolling,
The lotus bloom itself comprises three rows of separately applied, engraved petals with tips that lean out, and a thick central section decorated and gilded as if
it comprises a thick wad of gold stamens.
The top of the bloom has a floral finial which most likely supported a wick so that the lamp operated much like a torch. This lifts out so that the inside of the
bloom, which would have functioned as the well, could be filled.
The lamp has a wonderful patina and clear age. An 18th century dating (and possibly earlier) is consistent with the patina and the mode of manufacture. It is
likely that there would have been another small flower stem rising from the base to go with the others but this is long missing. Overall, this is a very unusual
and beautiful piece, produced in Tibet or Nepal for the Himalayan market.
Provenance: UK art market
Inventory no.: 4086 SOLD
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