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Lot 1892: Ethnographic Coco De Mer Nut

Antiquities: Day 4

by TimeLine Auctions

December 9, 2016

London, United Kingdom

Live Auction
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Description: 19th century AD. A large Coco de Mer nut, or Lodoicea, with fibrous husk and bi-lobed shape. 925 grams, 32cm (12 1/4"). Property of a Sussex, UK collector; acquired UK 1990s. Formerly Lodoicea was known as Maldive coconut. Its scientific name, Lodoicea maldivica, originated before the 18th century when the Seychelles were uninhabited. In centuries past the coconuts that fell from the trees and ended up in the sea would be carried away eastwards by the prevailing sea currents. The nuts can only float after the germination process, when they are hollow. In this way many drifted to the Maldives where they were gathered from the beaches and valued as an important trade and medicinal item. They were also valued as fertility symbols due to their shape resembling female reproductive organs or buttocks.

Condition Report: Fine condition.

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