A colonial Vizagatepam document box

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C. 1740
Ebony, Ivory, Silver
13.5 x 57.8 x 40.6 cm

Private collection, the Netherlands

The sides and cover, with four silver floral ornaments, inlaid with a delicate pen-engraved ivory pattern of flower scrolls. The corners with ajour carved floral silver mounts, the silver heart-shaped lock-plate surrounded by ajour carved flowers and surmounted by a crown. Two sides with silver handles. The interior, with further silver mounts and pen-engraved ivory inlays, divided into compartments comprising three drawers and two hidden drawers, a loose square silver caster and similar holder. The cover with oval ivory medallion engraved with a coat-of-arms. Second grade silver.

The box likely belonged to VOC-merchant Johan van Oordt (1701-1775) who resided on the island of Ambon as a merchant and official. On August 1 1741 he resigned from the VOC and was appointed the alderman of Batavia, commissioner of the Bank-Courant and the Loanbank. On August 22, 1731 he married Catharina Theodora Poulle in the Cape of Good Hope, and he died in Batavia in the year 1775. He had a daughter, Sara Maria van Oordt (1738-1782), who in 1762 married Pieter Hendrik Breton (1722-1794), who was a merchant in service of the VOC, Governor of Ambon, and Director-general of the Dutch-East Indies.   A comparable box executed in rosewood is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum (object No. NG-854), and is on permanent display in room 1.5 - 1700-1800: The Netherlands overseas.

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