Indo-Portuguese colonial silver-mounted coromandel casket

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Late 17th/ early 18th century
Wood, Silver
19 cm
48 cm
33 cm

The collection of Peter Petrou

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An Indo-Portuguese colonial silver-mounted coromandel casket.

The encounter between two cultures, the Portuguese and the Indian, first materialized with the inaugural voyage made by Vasco da Gama from Lisbon to Calicut in 1497-98 in search “of Christians and spices”. The conquest of Goa by Afonso de Albuquerque in 1510 opened a new chapter in the decorative arts in the territories of India.

For over 300 years, Goa was an important centre for the export of precious and artistic works, exotic to the eyes of the West and especially to the Portuguese, replete with an unique hybridism that reflects the mix between Western models taken to the Orient (serving as prototypes) and the specialisation by indigenous artists, for example Goans and Gujaratis, using local materials, local techniques and traditional Indian aesthetics. These Indo-Portuguese Art objects were portable, practical and functional wares, not only intended for daily use in India, but also for the export to Europe. An example of such an object is the present casket, that is reminiscent of European shapes yet is made of the exotic coromandel wood. 


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