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Fine, Silver-Clad Wooden Tea Bowl
Mongolia
circa 1925

height: 6.1cm, diameter: 12.3cm, weight: 385g

This superb and unusual Mongolian eating bowl comprises a single, turned piece of burlwood - possibly rhododendron rootwood - and dramatic silver mounts
that are of unusually high-grade silver.

The foot is covered in silver and has pearl;ed silver edging, as well as a border of unusual spiral-like motifs.

The interior is lined with thick sheet silver and this wraps over the rim and way down the side of the bowl so that the bowl is almost entirely covered in silver.

Silver was the preferred material from which utensils were fashioned by the Mongolian and Tibetan nobility because silver was felt to have a purifying effect on
food.

The underside of the bowl is inset with a 10 Möngö Mongolian silver coin that was in use in Mongolia during the 1920s. The coin is useful for dating this piece
and also confirming its Mongolian origins, and is an unusual addition.

The bowl is in excellent condition.

References:
Sheeks, R., 'Tibetan and Mongolian tsampa boxes', Arts of Asia, March-April 1996.

Provenance: UK art market

Inventory no.: 4723

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