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Thursday, May 14, 2009

WHAT'S THIS?


I have no idea what this is. I saw it through an antique shop window years ago and had to go in and pick it up. I liked the feel of it, the look of it, so I bought it. It was only A$40.


It has what appears to be Griffins on the front and back and pheasants on the side medallions. It stands about 14cm (5.5 inches) and is made of some sort of dull alloy in the middle, but the medallions could be silver. Those little stoppers come out easily. Maybe one drinks from the large opening and the other is to let air in to allow an easy flow. It also has little webbed feet.


Perhaps it is used in a ritual ceremony. I call it my Griffin flask. I would really like to know, so please get back to me with clues.

8 comments:

willow said...

Do you think it could be a bed warmer? It is wonderful! Looks like something I would grab in a heartbeat.

Ladybug said...

No, I don't think so; it's only small and those stoppers pop out easily. It's been a quandary for years!

The Clever Pup said...

I love a challenge and I know I've seen one of these before. It feels more Tibetan to me than Chinese. It's a little big but I think the chain is telling us it was worn on someone's belt or sash.

My first guess is a gunpowder flask.

I also found this online, a tibetan pilgrim's flask http://www.aspireauctions.com/auction58/11580.html

Ladybug said...

Thanks for that link, Hazel. A pity they didn't have a price. I reckon you're right, it's a pilgrim's flask, or costrel. An oil flask was called an Ampulla. There were also leather ones for carrying shot.

Gosh, I didn't realise it was that old. I'd love to know the significance of the griffins and I said pheasants on the sides, I meant lyrebirds.

I've bookmarked quite a few antique sites looking! I'll keep searching.

Ladybug said...

Sorry, peacocks, not lyrebirds!!!

Jane Librizzi said...

I don't know about Tibetan art, but griffons show up frequently on Greek, Roman, and Etruscan jars and such that hold liquids. They were evidently very popular dogs and the breed has been around for thousands of years. Oh dearr, this doesn't narrow things down, does it? Quite a find!

Rouchswalwe said...

My first impulse was Kiev ... so I asked my friends from that part of the world. No luck, I'm afraid. Hmmm. Mysterious objects like this are just begging for a good story ...

ruthie said...

Oh my this is so beautiful! a real treasure, but sadly i do not have a clue! though the pilgrim's flask looks a good bet!