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Jamaican School, 1675
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Jamaican School, 1675

A Jamaican tortoiseshell casket

Details
Jamaican School, 1675
A Jamaican tortoiseshell casket
tortoiseshell with silver mounts, the lid engraved with the coat-of-arms of Jamaica, surmounted with the monogram 'CRD' and 'JAMAICA 1675' below, within a floral border, the sides with floral decoration
3½ x 9 3/8 x 6 1/8in. (8.9 x 23.7 x 15.5cm.)
Exhibited
London, The Royal Academy, The Age of Charles II, 1932, cat. no. 158.
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
Sale Room Notice
Please be aware that new legislation now states that items exported outside of the EU which are manufactured using certain endangered species will require a CITES license. Please contact Leah Heneghan in the Christies Shipping Department for further information +44207 389 2828 or lheneghan@christies.com or the administrator of this sale.

Lot Essay

Following England'’s conquest of Jamaica from Spain in 1655, Port Royal developed into a major city of the English Americas, comparable in size to Boston. Fuelled by pirate raids on Spanish galleons and ports and a growing plantation economy based on the enslavement of Africans, the city flourished with a wealth of fashionable imported goods and a plethora of local pewterers, silversmiths, blacksmiths, shipwrights and other tradesmen. This prosperity ended suddenly on 7 June 1692, when a massive earthquake swept two-thirds of the city under the ocean.

The present casket, possibly a comb or cheroot case, dates to this same period, and can be compared to other examples of tortoisehell-ware produced in Port Royal in the second half of the 17th century, probably by the same artist -- see for example the comb cases in the V&A (Comb Case. 1673. [V&A 524-1877] 'The tortoiseshell case and combs are among the earliest surviving works of art made in Jamaica that reflect European influence. The style of the decoration suggests that they were all made by the same unknown artist. The decoration on the case relates directly to Britain's seizure of the island. The newly awarded arms of Jamaica are engraved on one side, while three plants important to Jamaica's economy are represented on the other.') and another example, dated 1689, in the collection of the Institute of Jamaica, similarly decorated with the Jamaican coat-of-arms [2006.1.76 (R)].

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