With iron ferrule and copper and silver overlaid blade.
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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Presented by the local Dai nobility to a British customs officer in 1936.
This style was produced in Tangerang, just West of Batavia, now Jakarta.
A fine ceremonial paddle of the Ngaju Dayak of southern Borneo.
A remarkable example of bladesmithing with a 5 row twist-core pattern that meanders over the blade.
Signed by an artist named Kanesada from Higo.