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Round lidded box
Place of Origin: Thailand
Date: 1850-1900
Materials: Gilded silver with niello
Dimensions: H. 8 in x Diam. 14 1/2 in, H. 20.3 cm x Diam. 36.8 cm
Credit Line: Gift from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Southeast Asian Art Collection
Department: Southeast Asian Art
Collection: Metal Arts
Object Number: 2006.27.104.a-.b
On Display: No

Description

Label:

This type of box was used to store foods such as dried sweetmeats. Kings of Siam gave nielloware containers of this type to noblemen as symbols of rank.

To make nielloware, an object of metal (often silver, as here) is decorated with cast or engraved depressions. These depressions are filled with a dark mixture of sulfur with copper, lead, or silver. The object is then heated, causing the mixture to melt and adhere to the metal surface. The surface of the object is then smoothed by sanding or buffing. Here, all the exposed silver has then been gilded.

Several groups of gilded-silver niello vessels were sent by kings of Siam as official gifts to the United States in 1856 and 1876. This box is generally similar to these vessels and is likely to date from approximately the same period.


More Information

Exhibition History: "Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma" Asian Art Museum, October 23, 2009 - January 10, 2010
Label:

This type of box was used to store foods such as dried sweetmeats. Kings of Siam gave nielloware containers of this type to noblemen as symbols of rank.

To make nielloware, an object of metal (often silver, as here) is decorated with cast or engraved depressions. These depressions are filled with a dark mixture of sulfur with copper, lead, or silver. The object is then heated, causing the mixture to melt and adhere to the metal surface. The surface of the object is then smoothed by sanding or buffing. Here, all the exposed silver has then been gilded.

Several groups of gilded-silver niello vessels were sent by kings of Siam as official gifts to the United States in 1856 and 1876. This box is generally similar to these vessels and is likely to date from approximately the same period.


Exhibition History: "Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma" Asian Art Museum, October 23, 2009 - January 10, 2010