Two Fine Indo-Portuguese Ivory Mortars and Pestles

Two Fine Indo-Portuguese Ivory Mortars and Pestles
Silky smooth honey coloured patina
Cracks, abrasions, small chips
First half 17th century
Sizes: 14cm high, 8.5cm dis. - 5½ ins high, 3¼ ins dis. / pestle: 11.5cm long - 4½ ins long
17.5cm high, 10cm dia. - 6¾ ins high, 4 ins dia. / pestle: 19.5cm long - 7¾ ins long
A desire to dominate the maritime trade in spices brought the Portuguese to the Indian Ocean. During the 16th century a series of aggressive Portuguese commanders created the ‘Estado da India’ composed of fortresses, trading posts and strategic coastal cities that ultimately reached from Mozambique to Macao. They established their state headquarters in Goa which remained in Portuguese hands until 1961. However, they never achieved a monopoly over the spice trade and within decades the Venetians had revived their land based trade, but the Portuguese did enter and dominate the field of luxury goods. The works of art that survive from the period tell of the extraordinary skills of the artists and craftsmen working in India and Sri Lanka. The Portuguese directed and instructed the manufacture of these exotic treasures exporting many back to Europe. The rapid development of their ‘State of India’ was an astonishing accomplishment, especially in view of Portugal's relatively small size and great distance from Asia.
Published ‘Portuguese Expansion Overseas and the Art of Ivory’ Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon June 25th 1991 pg. 200-201

Two Fine Indo-Portuguese Ivory Mortars and Pestles

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+44 (0) 207 689 7500

+44 (0)7836 684133
+44 (0)7768 236921

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ENQUIRIES

+44 (0) 207 689 7500

+44 (0)7836 684133
+44 (0)7768 236921

enquiries@finch-and-co.co.uk