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A rare 18th century Bible box, of solid calamander wood construction with bold brass hinges and mounts, the shaped sides and top opening to a interior for a small bible.
Height 8.00cm (3.15 inches)
Width 22.50cm (8.86 inches)
Depth 16.00cm (6.30 inches)
Surviving Dutch colonial bible boxes are relatively few. Veenendaal (1985, p. 86) illustrates two examples, one of which also is illustrated in
Voskuil-Groenewegen (1998, p. 92).
Bible boxes were used to hold a small personal bible. The wives of Dutch officials would walk in public in the Dutch settlements of south India, Sri Lanka and the East Indies followed by slaves or servants who held aloft umbrellas, carried betel boxes and perhaps a spittoon. Sometimes such a procession included a servant or slave who carried a bible box such as the example here.
Tchakaloff, T.N. et al, La Route des Indes - Les Indes et L'Europe: Echanges Artistiques et Heritage Commun 1650-1850, Somagy Editions d'Art, 1998.
Veenendaal, J., Furniture from Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India During the Dutch Period, Foundation Volkenkundig Museum Nusantara, 1985.
Voskuil-Groenewegen, S.M. et al, Zilver uit de tijd van de Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, Waanders Uitgevers, 1998.