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Silver Niello Circular Box & Cover
Thailand
circa 1940

diameter: 7.9cm, height: 3.4cm, weight: 188g

This round silver box and cover is decorated with extremely fine niello work. The lid is decorated with a flower-like motif with each main petal being decorated
in turn with a
thepanom figure. (The thepanom is a celestial being from Buddhist cosmology.)

The sides of the box are decorated with very fine flame or
kranok motifs.

The base has what is likely to be a small retailer's or maker's mark in Thai script.

The niello technique, whereby silver is chased and then coated in a black enamel-like substance that is then buffed back to reveal the raised silverwork
beneath,  is thought to have been introduced to Thailand either by the Portuguese or the Persians. Traders from both countries had an early presence in the
Kingdom. Niello work became a speciality of the southern Thai city of Nakhon Si Thammarat.

The box is in fine condition. There are no repairs or dents and the lid closes tightly.

References:
Fraser-Lu, S.,
Silverware of South-East Asia, Oxford University Press, 1989.
Byachrananda, J.,
Thai Mother-of Pearl Inlay, River Books, 2001.
Naengnoi Punjabhan,
Silverware in Thailand, Rerngrom Publishing, 1991.

Provenance: UK art market

Inventory no.: 4088

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