South American Mate Box (SOLD)

Alto Peru

18th Century

The shell-shaped wooden box was made to store mate and has carved overlaid decoration to the lid; the faces of the figures are carved separately of cocquila nut and the style and execution of the decoration points to it having been made at the Jesuit Missions of Moxos and Chiquitos.
The consumption of mate became very popular in Hispanic society from the 16th to the 18th centuries and they delighted in the creation of accessories to satisfy these demands.  Together with the mate cup, a box in which to store the leaves was considered essential.

Dimensions: width 23.5cm depth 18.7cm height 15cm (9.25 x 7.5 x 5.75 in)

Example:
Museo de Arte de Lima, Peru

Bibliography:
The Mate in America by Javier & Jose Eguiguren Molina. Pub. Eguiguren & Vega
Trois siecles d'orfeverie Hispano-Americaine. Exhibition catalogue, Le Louvre des Antiquaires, Paris 1986


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