A Finely Carved 'Bugbear' Coconut Flask

A Finely Carved 'Bugbear' Coconut Flask

1800 to 1900 English or American

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A finely carved 'Bugbear' coconut flask with inset bone eyes profusely decorated with sea snakes and monsters, fish and seaweeds
Probably English or American
Circa 1800

Size : 13cm x 9.5 cm
5 ins x 3¾ ins
Coconut flasks were most often cavred by sailors visiting the Tropics; examples have been found from Mexico, South America, and from the french Polynesian Islands, and sometimes carved in the Empire style by French prisoners of war. One from Mexico in the Pinto collection is signed Pedro Peralta.
They vary enormously in the quality of the carved decoration from the very crude to the very fine as in this example. The carving is used to accentuate the 'Bugbear' marking, sometimes inlaid with glass or bone eyes and with silver spouts.
Dimensions
Height 9.50 cm (3.74 inches)
Depth 13.00 cm (5.12 inches)
Medium
Coconut and shell
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England

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