|Kandy, Sri Lanka, 18th-19th century|
This cane basket called a vel-pettiya with engraved silver mounts is typical of such baskets produced in the Kingdom of Kandy in central Sri Lanka. They were made for members of the Kandyan aristocracy and were used to store jewellery and keepsakes.
The basket is made from two types of tightly woven cane over a wooden base. The silver mounts comprise an elaborate palm leaf-like back hinge and lock (kept closed by means of a pin that slides in and out of the closing mechanism), a handle and plate to the top of the basket, and two leaf-form hooks and eyelets to either side of the basket.
Similar baskets but with less elaborate mounts were produced in Indonesia. It is possible that colonial Portuguese and Dutch administrators introduced this form to Indonesia from the Kandyan Kingdom in the eighteenth century.
The condition of the basket is excellent given its age - there are only minor and barely detectable losses to the caneware. Overall, it is a superb piece.
|Location of Origin: Asia|
|Dimensions: height: 16cm, width: 22cm, weight: 260g|
|Primary Classification: Asian Art : Indian Antiques|
|See Coomaraswamy (1956, plate XLIIIA) for an example of a vel-pettiya with brass mounts.|
References: Coomaraswamy, A.K., Mediaeval Sinhalese Art, Pantheon Books, 1956 reprint of the 1908 edition.
|Provenance: Dutch art market|
|Price:||Item has been sold.|
|Offered By:||Items for sale from dealers we worked with previously|
121 Mount Vernon, Boston, MA 02108 USA
Item has been sold.
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