This unusual figure is a mould for traditional toys made in Burma. Made of papier mache and painted, these toys are sold in pagoda markets. They are now considered a dying folk art with pervasive and cheaper plastic toys replacing them. Our curious form is for a figure representing a palace page called ‘Pho Wa’ or ‘Little Fat Boy’. We love the enigmatic quality of the shape and its simple details. (Contrary to what some online vendors say, this is not a shaman’s figure or an item for ritual use.)
8.75 in. x 3.5 in
Probably inscribed in old Javanese script (kawi) or possibly Balinese, this antique palm leaf manuscript (‘lontar’) is quite fascinating and mysterious. Carved wood covers have a folk quality and include lettering (RATUANGELINGDARME), which translates in Javanese to “Queen (ratu) Angel (angeling) Duty (darme). This could be the name of a Hindu epic, or an old legend or morality tale. Possibly from Bali or Lombok, due to the style of the carving on the covers, it is in quite good condition, with only some chipped edges. This beautiful book would be a fascinating addition to a manuscript collection and could provide many hours of intellectual sleuthing for those inclined toward language and written culture.
Size: 11.5 in.x 4.75 in.x 1.25 in.
Enigmatic and unusual, this ex voto is for the eyes and could be for healing as well as imparting insight. Beautifully crafted of sheet silver, it is adorned with baroque floral motifs and putti. A real treasure from Italy, it would be lovely mounted and framed, or even worn on a silver chain or black ribbon.
Size: 5.5 in. x 4.13 in.