Luxury Design, Past & Present
A naïve rounded coconut shell “bugbear” powder flask with silver mounts, carved with a native face at the end and three ovals showing an officer, a gentleman and his lady, c1805.
4 ½ in 12cm.
They were reputedly carved by sailors or soldiers who visited the East or West Indies in the late 18th/early 19th centuries, and had access to green coconut shells which were easier to carve than dried ones. There are examples of goblets and treen of similar workmanship attributed to French, English, Portuguese and Spanish sailors. A couple in our collection, featuring Napoleon and Les Compagnons Charpentiers, are undoubtedly French but the others are harder to attribute.