For holding and protecting important documents.
Water buffalo horn, lacquer, pigments, silver.
New waxed cotton cord.
19th to early 20th century
UK antique art market
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A very rare flask used by Chin men of Burma for sipping nicotine water.
According to period sources, the Chin women would smoke a water pipe that infuses the water with nicotine, which the men use to fill their small flasks that are carried in their loinclothes. They sip the nicotine-water and spit it out.1
Two comparable flasks were collected by Dr. Erik Hjalmar East, a Baptist missionary who served at Fort Hakha in Burma from 1901-1910. The pieces were later donated by his descendants to the Museum of Natural and Cultural History in Eugene, Oregon where they remain in the East Burma collection, accession numbers #8-94 and #8-93.
The flasks collected by Dr. Erik Hjalmar East.
Carved of the tip of a water buffalo horn, and following its general shape. It was then lacquered with red and black lacquer and inlaid with strips of silver. It comes with a small, perfectly fitting cover that is retained by a later piece of red cord.
It still retains its smell of nicotine.
1. Chester U. Strait; The Chin People: A Selective History and Anthropology of the Chin People. XLibris, 2014. Page 276.
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With silver overlay on iron even continued on its hilt.
Fine Mindan dha with a scene from the Ramayana on its blade.
Fine silver overlaid dha made in Mindan village, south of Mandalay, gained fame in the 19th century.
The thick and heavy blade is marked with a script that has yet to be identified.
Of a type likely produced by the Shan people and traded widely in the region.