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Two Dutch Colonial Tortoiseshell Bible Boxes with Silver Mounts, 18th Century

$11,479.66per set


Tortoiseshell and silver H. 5 x W. 22 x D. 12 cm Tortoiseshell and silver H. 4.3 x W. 17 x D. 9.5 cm The function of bible boxes in the Dutch East Indies was just as much a status symbol, to show off one's wealth on the way to church, as it was to hold a small bible or hymnbook. Bible boxes existed in gold, silver, ivory, sometimes inlaid with precious stones, and in Coromandel or ebony wood. In the Dutch East Indies on the way to church, the women tried to display their fortune by the costliness of her bible box. The highest-ranking women had gold bible boxes, inlaid with precious stones, carried by a slave. The lower-ranking women had wooden bible boxes as the present ones. In 1754 Governor-General Jacob Mossel decreed that only the wives and widows of a Governor-General, Director General, Councillor of India or President of the Justice Council, were allowed to carry golden boxes adorned with precious stones in public. 4750 each.


  • Dimensions
    Height: 1.78 in. (4.5 cm)Width: 8.67 in. (22 cm)Depth: 4.73 in. (12 cm)
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Style
    Dutch Colonial (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location
    Amsterdam, NL
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU5458220872972

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Free White Glove Shipping
    to anywhere in the world, arrives in 8-10 days.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

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About the SellerNew to 1stDibs
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Located in Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Established in 1985
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