Description: Central Asia, India, ca. 18th century CE. An early example, a delightful box of cast bronze with an avian theme, consisting of multiple components. The piece stands on five legs shaped like birds with their wings spread. Between each leg is a rounded compartment topped by a flying bird with a crested head, a long tail, and spread wings. Each of these opens from an offset hinge, and each lid has a tab that extends into the round middle of the piece. This middle has a perforation drilled through it to place a locking mechanism. The mechanism is in the form of a standing peacock with its tail fanned open wide. A metal pin extends below its body and slots into the perforation, covering each of the tabs from the compartment lids and forming a lock. Size: 4.4" W x 3.3" H (11.2 cm x 8.4 cm)
The peacock is the national bird of India, and has appeared in Indian art since the Indus Valley Civilization three thousand years ago! It is a symbol of many of the Hindu gods and represents immortality. The box, known as a kumkum or tikka box, was made to hold the powdered colors, some made of turmeric, worn on the forehead in Hindu religious ceremonies.
Provenance: private Orange County, California, USA collection acquired before 2000
All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.
A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.
We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.
Condition Report: Smooth, dark patina covers entire surface. "Lock" (described above) and hinges are all still functional.
Request more information