Antique Swords and Daggers, Antique Pistols and Guns, Antiquities and Pre Columbian Art

Antique Nepalese Pen Case Inkwell With Buddhist Symbols Nepal

Antique Nepalese Pen Case Inkwell With Buddhist Symbols Nepal

browse these categories for related items...
Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Indian Subcontinent: Himalayas: Pre 1800: Item # 1470731

Please refer to our stock # IS635 when inquiring.
Hundred and One Antiques
View Seller Profile
Visit Our Website
613 979 8250

Guest Book
Visa MasterCard American Express
Rare antique Nepalese made of copper alloys traveling pen case and attached inkwell from 18th century Nepal.

The tubular pen case is finely hand-chiseled on the one site with 8 Auspicious Symbols of Tibetan Buddhism including:

The Conch, Parasol, Golden fish, Treasure Vase of sacred water, Victory banner, lotus blossom, endless eternal knot, the opposite site is chiseled with foliate scrollwork. The pen case is attached by three chains to the inkwell.

The inkwell is made in the form of an auspicious Treasure Vase of sacred water and was cast in relief using the lost-wax method and then hand-chiseled in high relief with great details on booth sites, with dancing winged deities among the vines, possibly a manifestation of Garuda, and with figures of lizards. The neck, foot, and domed stopper are decorated with lotus petals.

Shepherd Slusser & Fuller, in their 1987 Arts of Asia, July-August 1987 article on Nepali inkwells and pen cases, commented that their use died out decades ago and that few Nepalis now either recognize them or know what they were used for.

Nepali inkwells and pen cases were used by government officials and writers of religious texts. They were also used by the Kayastha, a caste of professional scribes who wandered around accepting itinerant work from the general population since the vast majority of them would have been illiterate.

References: 1. A related inkwell but without the pen case is published in the Bonhams catalog “The Presencer Collection of Buddhist Art” Hong Kong 2 Oct 2018.Lot 106. Price: US$ 1,000 - 1,500.

To view it, please see the links below.

2. Two related Nepalese Pen Cases & Attached Ink Wells are in the British Museum collection.

To view it, please see the links below.

3. Shepherd Slusser, M., & M. Fuller, ‘The Nepalese Ink-Well,’ Arts of Asia, July-August 1987. no.17, pp.78-87.


The overall length of the Pen Case: 22.5 cm (8.86 inches). Height of the ink bottle: 9 cm (3.54 inches)

CONDITION: The traveling set is offered in, presentable original condition. The pen case is with some dents.

Please see all the 14 pictures in the listing since they are part of the object's condition description.

Showing its age and usage, the chiseled adornment on the pen case is worn out on the exposed areas from centuries of use. Also, the exterior has extinguished a deep reddish, and green patina.

An authentic antique 18th century Nepalese writing sets are very rare and not only do not appear for sale but also very rarely appear in museum collections, compared to the Tibetan, Ottoman, or Japanese pencil cases with inkwells. Because most of the Nepalese people during the 17th-19th century would have been illiterate. were mostly illiterate, and the art of writing was known only to a small group of scribes.