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Place of Origin: Mongolia

Date: 19th Century (Qing Dynasty)

Overall: 327mm (13 inches)

Reference: 439

Status: Sold

Full Description:

This set consists of a fine eating trousse and a chuckmuck or flint striker (derived from the Anglo-Indian word chakmak which in turn comes from the Turkish word çakmaktaşı, meaning ‘flint’).

The eating trousse is a well-made example that consists of two straight single-edged knives and a pair of chopsticks. The scabbard has a wooden core that has been covered with red-scaled shagreen, its natural lustre giving it a lacquered appearance. The knives’ hilts are layered with grip-scales of polished bone and wood and the chopsticks are made from bone with silver pommels. The chuckmuck is a typical example of the fire-lightning kits found across North Asia from China to Japan since the 17th century[1]. The unusual green stone suspended by the chain (possibly aventurine) serves a functional purpose as well as an aesthetic one: in providing counter-balance to the flint striker when worn, it stops the pouch from coming out of the wearer’s belt while walking – much like a Japanese netsuke. The eating set and flint pouch are both hung by means of silver chains, with pendants decorated with graceful floral patterns on a gold coloured ground.


Similar sets were presented in our Hong Kong catalogue in 2017[2], and a particularly striking example can be found in Patricia Ann Berger and Terese Tse Bartholomew’s book Mongolia : The Legacy of Chinggis Khan[3].


UK art market


[1] Such daily utensils for 'striking a light' were essential implements until the gradual introduction of the match in the mid-19th century: the user would produce a spark by striking a flint against the steel base ridge.

[2] Runjeet Singh, Hong Kong Catalogue, 2017, pp.8-23.

[3] Patricia Ann Berger and Terese Tse Bartholomew, Mongolia: The Legacy of Chinggis Khan, Thames and Hudson, 1995, p.106, item 6.


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