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A South African Stinkwood Bowl, Edwardian Period

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: African: Pre 1920: Item # 594270

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A South African Stinkwood Bowl, Edwardian Period

ANTIQUE STINKWOOD BOWL FROM SOUTH AFRICA; PROB. EDWARDIAN (1901-1910). An old and beautifully turned stinkwood bowl from South Africa. The wood Ocotea bullata is native to South Africa and is also known by its common names: Cape Walnut, Stinkhout, Cape Laurel, Laurel wood and “stinkwood” (because of an odor this wood emits only after it is freshly cut!). Because of its dark color, fine grain and durability it was a prized wood for treen and cabinetmaking and was thus over-harvested and is now no longer commercially available. This bowl is classically proportioned so it is impossible to date with any precision; however, an Edwardian date seems most likely. The style, look and feel suggest an Anglo-South African maker and we have seen similarly turned objects from Scotland and England from the Edwardian period, except this is stinkwood and was found in South Africa. The bowl measures approx. 26cm (10-1/4”) in diameter and is 4.3cm (1-5/8”) high and weighs 624g (1 lb. 6 ozs). The condition is very good with two narrow and natural fissures beginning on the the lip owing to age and shrinkage and minor and expected frits to the footrim (underside) neither of which affects its function whatever that might have been. More than likely it was turned to show the skill of the woodmaker and had no specific purpose. ADDITIONAL DETAILED PHOTOGRAPHS WILL BE EMAILED TO YOU ON REQUEST.

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