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Jerusalem Mother-o-Pearl Box

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An early 19th century souvenir snuff box from Jerusalem, the lid and base are deeply carved slabs of Mother-o-Pearl set within a frame of silver coloured metal, the sides of engraved pearl. The scene carved to the lid is of The Nativity and to the base, The Church of the Holy Sepulcher or Dome of the Rock; each are signed by the carver with a mark of a ram's head. 

2 7/8 in x 1 7/8 in x 1 1/8 in 

Franciscan monks came to Bethlehem from Damascus sometime during the 15th century and brought with them the skill of carving mother of pearl. The nearby Red Sea provided a great source of shells for work with mother of pearl and the monks were thereby able to provide the pilgrims that travelled to Bethlehem with a souvenir or token of their religious journey.

Jerusalem, circa 1830.


Item Code: 3104

£ 950

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