A Rare Ceremonial Brass Sugar Hammer
A Rare Ceremonial Brass Sugar Hammer
A Rare Ceremonial Brass Sugar Hammer
A Rare Ceremonial Brass Sugar Hammer
A Rare Ceremonial Brass Sugar Hammer

A Rare Ceremonial Brass Sugar Hammer

1780 India

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Its handle in the form of a human arm terminating in a hand possibly holding a length of sugar-cane. The ring finger having an empty jewel setting the wrist adorned with a rope-work bracelet the elbow with a double rope-work armlet surmounted with a cabochon setting for five gem-stones, above which the upper arm has engraved and punch-work decoration.
The hammer-head issuing from a beasts mouth its likeness resembling a tiger or leopard the eyes also possibly originally set with gem-stones. The fluke engraved with a feathered parrot.
Although sugar cane is believed to have originated in New Guinea the first commercial sugar plantations were in India Circa 350.
The Indian's had managed to produce it in a crystallised form which made it an internationally trade-able commodity which came to be known as a 'fine spice' and in the 15th century was set in enormous earthenware moulds and turned out of these as 'sugar-loaves' These loaves were known to be three feet in height & fourteen inches in diameter. This necessitated sugar hammers and axes to break it down into manageable sizes so it could then be nipped into usable lumps.
Sugar hammers and axes were nearly always made of steel.
Our hammer originally was gilded and bejewelled, its ostentatious form a mark of its owner who would have been a maharajah or plantation owner.
Hammers such as this were used for the 'ceremonial breaking of sugar' to celebrate a new crop which would have taken place in the presence of retinue of invited guests.
It would have been made as a special commission - the feathered parrot chased upon its fluke an emblem of the family that commissioned it.
Dimensions
Width 8.00 inch (20.32 cm)
Medium
Brass
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