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{"id":5591728095382,"title":"Antique Indian Silver Cheroot Case, Trichonopoly (tiruchirappalli), India – Circa 1815","handle":"antique-indian-silver-cheroot-case-trichonopoly-tiruchirappalli-india-circa-1815","description":"\u003cp\u003eThis high quality antique Indian silver cheroot holder has been deeply and densely ornamented using repousse and chased techniques in the distinctive Hindu style of Trichonopoly, using a heavy gauge silver.  The container is of oval section with a pull off lid and the outer face of the internal lid recess has been finely chased with a scrolling acanthus leaf border. Twelve individual circular apertures have been fashioned in the lower half of the box to hold the cheroots erect and separate, limiting potential damage. The outside of the case is covered in a deep, almost three dimensional, dense floral and acanthus leaf carpet surmounted with figures of animals and deities with finely chased detailing.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe stylistic inspiration came from the stone carvings of local temple architecture, particularly those of the huge Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple on the holy islet of Srirangam on the opposite side of the Kaveri river from the Rock of Trichonopoly.  Standing on a site of 156 acres, this temple is the most important of those dedicated to Vishnu. It is also the largest temple in India and the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTo the top face of the box, a seated deity is flanked by rampant elephants and stylised cats.  The same image is depicted again on one of the longer sides of the lid, with another deity, mounted on a\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003evahana\u003c\/em\u003e, on the opposite side flanked by cats. The two longer faces on the lower half of the container each have a representation of a deity mounted on a\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003evahana\u003c\/em\u003e, one flanked by four birds and the other by a pair of birds and a pair of cats. To the shorter ends are depictions of large animals – antelope, dog, lion, cheetah, deer and elephant – one to the lid and two to the base of each end.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe word cheroot derives from the Portuguese word for cigar,\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003echeruto\u003c\/em\u003e, and following tobacco’s introduction to Portugal in 1558, it is believed that the Portuguese brought the tobacco plant to India around 1600, where it was first cultivated in the Gujarat province.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eDuring the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar, there is barely mention of tobacco save for a report that pilgrims returning from Mecca brought news of this novelty to the court. Later, in 1604, Akbar’s envoy, Asad Beg Qazwini, presented him with a silver tray on which rested a superb jewelled hookah (chilim), a golden burner and a gold box filled with tobacco leaves, on his return from Bijapur.  Fascinated, Akbar lit the pipe and took a few puffs before his court physician rushed in and implored him to stop.  Akbar stopped and never smoked again. His son, Jahangir, succeeded him in 1605 and by 1617 tobacco smoking had become so widespread within the court and amongst the general populace that he attempted to deal with the problem by issuing a decree forbidding the use of tobacco.  This had little effect and the use of tobacco continued to spread throughout India.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBy 1830 cheroot smoking had become popular throughout Europe. A contemporary article in ‘The Mirror of Literature, Amusement and Instruction’ suggests that cigar or cheroot smoking originated in the East Indies and that cheroots were sometimes referred to by an alternative name, China cigars. It states that cigars from the East were generally double the size of those produced in the West Indies. It is well documented that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were vehemently opposed to smoking, but despite their opposition, Trichinopoly cheroots became very popular and were exported to Britain in vast quantities during the nineteenth century, forming one of India’s principal exports.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eA story published in the ‘Journal and Naval and Military Magazine’, 1833, refers to a soldier stationed in India smoking a Trichinopoly cheroot after breakfast. The tobacco was grown in Dindigul, a town near Trichonopoly. Cheroot smoking became popular amongst British and French troops stationed in Southern India and around Trichinopoly from the 1750s and they took the practice back to Europe.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe British East India Company finally conquered Trichonopoly and made it part of the Madras Presidency in 1801 and it became an important stronghold. Trichonopoly was a strategic and extremely well fortified city with an excellent vantage point over the surrounding countryside.  In the middle of the town was a rock 300 feet high surmounted by the 7\u003csup\u003eth\u003c\/sup\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ecentury Pagoda shaped Hindu Ucchi Pillayar temple, dedicated to Ganesh. From the top of the temple there was an uninterrupted view of 40 miles in all directions.  The city was protected by a four mile long double wall with towers at intervals which encircled the city.  The outer wall was 18 foot high and fronted by a moat 30 foot wide and 15 foot deep.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn 1926, an Indian railway guide states that ‘Trichonopoly is one of the biggest markets in the world for rubies.’  ‘The most important local industry is the manufacture of cigars, of which Trichinopoly is famous.  Articles in silver and gold are excellently made by the local gold and silversmiths, who are very successful with their repousse work.  The cost of well-made silver articles is usually double the value of their weight in rupees’.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThis rare cheroot case dates to the first quarter of the nineteenth century when the oval form dominated.  Trichonopoly silver is far less common than some of the other Indian regional styles like Kutch or Lucknow.  Objects are usually made of a heavy gauge of silver, occasionally gold, and highly decorated. The majority of items from this period were small portable objects of a personal nature, such as boxes, card cases, tinder tubes, goblets etc. rather than domestic items, reflecting the fact that most customers would have been male military or East India Company personnel, serving there alone and without families.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eProvenance:\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e        UK art market\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eSize:\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e                     height 13.3 cms, width 10 cms, depth 4.6cms\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eWeight:\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e               344 grammes\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eReferences:-\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eB G Gokhale, Tobacco in Seventeenth-Century India, Agricultural History, Volume 48, Number 4, October 1974, pages 484-492, Agricultural History Society, Florida\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHenry Colburn, Journal and Naval and Military Magazine, 1833, Part III, page 55, Richard Bentley, London,\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe Mirror of Literature, Amusement and Instruction, and Vols 15-16, Limbird, London, 1830\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eSouth Indian Railway Illustrated Guide, Madras 1926\u003c\/p\u003e","published_at":"2020-08-09T17:17:26+01:00","created_at":"2020-08-09T17:17:24+01:00","vendor":"Joseph Cohen Antiques","type":"Cheroot Case","tags":["Sold Archive"],"price":0,"price_min":0,"price_max":0,"available":false,"price_varies":false,"compare_at_price":null,"compare_at_price_min":0,"compare_at_price_max":0,"compare_at_price_varies":false,"variants":[{"id":35686011175062,"title":"Default Title","option1":"Default 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high quality antique Indian silver cheroot holder has been deeply and densely ornamented using repousse and chased techniques in the distinctive Hindu style of Trichonopoly, using a heavy gauge silver.  The container is of oval section with a pull off lid and the outer face of the internal lid recess has been finely chased with a scrolling acanthus leaf border. Twelve individual circular apertures have been fashioned in the lower half of the box to hold the cheroots erect and separate, limiting potential damage. The outside of the case is covered in a deep, almost three dimensional, dense floral and acanthus leaf carpet surmounted with figures of animals and deities with finely chased detailing.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe stylistic inspiration came from the stone carvings of local temple architecture, particularly those of the huge Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple on the holy islet of Srirangam on the opposite side of the Kaveri river from the Rock of Trichonopoly.  Standing on a site of 156 acres, this temple is the most important of those dedicated to Vishnu. It is also the largest temple in India and the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTo the top face of the box, a seated deity is flanked by rampant elephants and stylised cats.  The same image is depicted again on one of the longer sides of the lid, with another deity, mounted on a\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003evahana\u003c\/em\u003e, on the opposite side flanked by cats. The two longer faces on the lower half of the container each have a representation of a deity mounted on a\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003evahana\u003c\/em\u003e, one flanked by four birds and the other by a pair of birds and a pair of cats. To the shorter ends are depictions of large animals – antelope, dog, lion, cheetah, deer and elephant – one to the lid and two to the base of each end.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe word cheroot derives from the Portuguese word for cigar,\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003echeruto\u003c\/em\u003e, and following tobacco’s introduction to Portugal in 1558, it is believed that the Portuguese brought the tobacco plant to India around 1600, where it was first cultivated in the Gujarat province.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eDuring the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar, there is barely mention of tobacco save for a report that pilgrims returning from Mecca brought news of this novelty to the court. Later, in 1604, Akbar’s envoy, Asad Beg Qazwini, presented him with a silver tray on which rested a superb jewelled hookah (chilim), a golden burner and a gold box filled with tobacco leaves, on his return from Bijapur.  Fascinated, Akbar lit the pipe and took a few puffs before his court physician rushed in and implored him to stop.  Akbar stopped and never smoked again. His son, Jahangir, succeeded him in 1605 and by 1617 tobacco smoking had become so widespread within the court and amongst the general populace that he attempted to deal with the problem by issuing a decree forbidding the use of tobacco.  This had little effect and the use of tobacco continued to spread throughout India.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBy 1830 cheroot smoking had become popular throughout Europe. A contemporary article in ‘The Mirror of Literature, Amusement and Instruction’ suggests that cigar or cheroot smoking originated in the East Indies and that cheroots were sometimes referred to by an alternative name, China cigars. It states that cigars from the East were generally double the size of those produced in the West Indies. It is well documented that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were vehemently opposed to smoking, but despite their opposition, Trichinopoly cheroots became very popular and were exported to Britain in vast quantities during the nineteenth century, forming one of India’s principal exports.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eA story published in the ‘Journal and Naval and Military Magazine’, 1833, refers to a soldier stationed in India smoking a Trichinopoly cheroot after breakfast. The tobacco was grown in Dindigul, a town near Trichonopoly. Cheroot smoking became popular amongst British and French troops stationed in Southern India and around Trichinopoly from the 1750s and they took the practice back to Europe.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe British East India Company finally conquered Trichonopoly and made it part of the Madras Presidency in 1801 and it became an important stronghold. Trichonopoly was a strategic and extremely well fortified city with an excellent vantage point over the surrounding countryside.  In the middle of the town was a rock 300 feet high surmounted by the 7\u003csup\u003eth\u003c\/sup\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ecentury Pagoda shaped Hindu Ucchi Pillayar temple, dedicated to Ganesh. From the top of the temple there was an uninterrupted view of 40 miles in all directions.  The city was protected by a four mile long double wall with towers at intervals which encircled the city.  The outer wall was 18 foot high and fronted by a moat 30 foot wide and 15 foot deep.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn 1926, an Indian railway guide states that ‘Trichonopoly is one of the biggest markets in the world for rubies.’  ‘The most important local industry is the manufacture of cigars, of which Trichinopoly is famous.  Articles in silver and gold are excellently made by the local gold and silversmiths, who are very successful with their repousse work.  The cost of well-made silver articles is usually double the value of their weight in rupees’.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThis rare cheroot case dates to the first quarter of the nineteenth century when the oval form dominated.  Trichonopoly silver is far less common than some of the other Indian regional styles like Kutch or Lucknow.  Objects are usually made of a heavy gauge of silver, occasionally gold, and highly decorated. The majority of items from this period were small portable objects of a personal nature, such as boxes, card cases, tinder tubes, goblets etc. rather than domestic items, reflecting the fact that most customers would have been male military or East India Company personnel, serving there alone and without families.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eProvenance:\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e        UK art market\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eSize:\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e                     height 13.3 cms, width 10 cms, depth 4.6cms\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eWeight:\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e               344 grammes\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eReferences:-\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eB G Gokhale, Tobacco in Seventeenth-Century India, Agricultural History, Volume 48, Number 4, October 1974, pages 484-492, Agricultural History Society, Florida\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHenry Colburn, Journal and Naval and Military Magazine, 1833, Part III, page 55, Richard Bentley, London,\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe Mirror of Literature, Amusement and Instruction, and Vols 15-16, Limbird, London, 1830\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eSouth Indian Railway Illustrated Guide, Madras 1926\u003c\/p\u003e"}

Antique Indian Silver Cheroot Case, Trichonopoly (tiruchirappalli), India – Circa 1815

Product Description

This high quality antique Indian silver cheroot holder has been deeply and densely ornamented using repousse and chased techniques in the distinctive Hindu style of Trichonopoly, using a heavy gauge silver.  The container is of oval section with a pull off lid and the outer face of the internal lid recess has been finely chased with a scrolling acanthus leaf border. Twelve individual circular apertures have been fashioned in the lower half of the box to hold the cheroots erect and separate, limiting potential damage. The outside of the case is covered in a deep, almost three dimensional, dense floral and acanthus leaf carpet surmounted with figures of animals and deities with finely chased detailing.

The stylistic inspiration came from the stone carvings of local temple architecture, particularly those of the huge Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple on the holy islet of Srirangam on the opposite side of the Kaveri river from the Rock of Trichonopoly.  Standing on a site of 156 acres, this temple is the most important of those dedicated to Vishnu. It is also the largest temple in India and the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world.

To the top face of the box, a seated deity is flanked by rampant elephants and stylised cats.  The same image is depicted again on one of the longer sides of the lid, with another deity, mounted on a vahana, on the opposite side flanked by cats. The two longer faces on the lower half of the container each have a representation of a deity mounted on a vahana, one flanked by four birds and the other by a pair of birds and a pair of cats. To the shorter ends are depictions of large animals – antelope, dog, lion, cheetah, deer and elephant – one to the lid and two to the base of each end.

The word cheroot derives from the Portuguese word for cigar, cheruto, and following tobacco’s introduction to Portugal in 1558, it is believed that the Portuguese brought the tobacco plant to India around 1600, where it was first cultivated in the Gujarat province.

During the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar, there is barely mention of tobacco save for a report that pilgrims returning from Mecca brought news of this novelty to the court. Later, in 1604, Akbar’s envoy, Asad Beg Qazwini, presented him with a silver tray on which rested a superb jewelled hookah (chilim), a golden burner and a gold box filled with tobacco leaves, on his return from Bijapur.  Fascinated, Akbar lit the pipe and took a few puffs before his court physician rushed in and implored him to stop.  Akbar stopped and never smoked again. His son, Jahangir, succeeded him in 1605 and by 1617 tobacco smoking had become so widespread within the court and amongst the general populace that he attempted to deal with the problem by issuing a decree forbidding the use of tobacco.  This had little effect and the use of tobacco continued to spread throughout India.

By 1830 cheroot smoking had become popular throughout Europe. A contemporary article in ‘The Mirror of Literature, Amusement and Instruction’ suggests that cigar or cheroot smoking originated in the East Indies and that cheroots were sometimes referred to by an alternative name, China cigars. It states that cigars from the East were generally double the size of those produced in the West Indies. It is well documented that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were vehemently opposed to smoking, but despite their opposition, Trichinopoly cheroots became very popular and were exported to Britain in vast quantities during the nineteenth century, forming one of India’s principal exports.

A story published in the ‘Journal and Naval and Military Magazine’, 1833, refers to a soldier stationed in India smoking a Trichinopoly cheroot after breakfast. The tobacco was grown in Dindigul, a town near Trichonopoly. Cheroot smoking became popular amongst British and French troops stationed in Southern India and around Trichinopoly from the 1750s and they took the practice back to Europe.

The British East India Company finally conquered Trichonopoly and made it part of the Madras Presidency in 1801 and it became an important stronghold. Trichonopoly was a strategic and extremely well fortified city with an excellent vantage point over the surrounding countryside.  In the middle of the town was a rock 300 feet high surmounted by the 7th century Pagoda shaped Hindu Ucchi Pillayar temple, dedicated to Ganesh. From the top of the temple there was an uninterrupted view of 40 miles in all directions.  The city was protected by a four mile long double wall with towers at intervals which encircled the city.  The outer wall was 18 foot high and fronted by a moat 30 foot wide and 15 foot deep.

In 1926, an Indian railway guide states that ‘Trichonopoly is one of the biggest markets in the world for rubies.’  ‘The most important local industry is the manufacture of cigars, of which Trichinopoly is famous.  Articles in silver and gold are excellently made by the local gold and silversmiths, who are very successful with their repousse work.  The cost of well-made silver articles is usually double the value of their weight in rupees’.

This rare cheroot case dates to the first quarter of the nineteenth century when the oval form dominated.  Trichonopoly silver is far less common than some of the other Indian regional styles like Kutch or Lucknow.  Objects are usually made of a heavy gauge of silver, occasionally gold, and highly decorated. The majority of items from this period were small portable objects of a personal nature, such as boxes, card cases, tinder tubes, goblets etc. rather than domestic items, reflecting the fact that most customers would have been male military or East India Company personnel, serving there alone and without families.

 

Provenance:        UK art market

Size:                     height 13.3 cms, width 10 cms, depth 4.6cms

Weight:               344 grammes

 

References:-

B G Gokhale, Tobacco in Seventeenth-Century India, Agricultural History, Volume 48, Number 4, October 1974, pages 484-492, Agricultural History Society, Florida

Henry Colburn, Journal and Naval and Military Magazine, 1833, Part III, page 55, Richard Bentley, London,

The Mirror of Literature, Amusement and Instruction, and Vols 15-16, Limbird, London, 1830

South Indian Railway Illustrated Guide, Madras 1926

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Maximum quantity available reached.

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