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Goa Stone and Gold Case

Object Name:
Goa stone and container
Date:
late 17th–early 18th century
Geography:
India, Goa
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Container: gold; pierced, repoussé, with cast legs and finials Goa stone: compound of organic and inorganic materials
Dimensions:
Goa stone: Diam. 1 3/16 in. (3 cm) container: H. 2 5/8 in. (6.7 cm) Diam. 5 11/16 in. (14.4 cm)
Classification:
Metal
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 2004
Accession Number:
2004.244a–d
  • Description

    "Goa stones" were manufactured by Jesuit priests living in Goa, a small province on India’s western coast. They are manmade versions of bezoars (a mixture of gallstones and hairs found in the stomach of deer, sheep, and antelopes) that, when scraped and ingested with tea or water, were supposed to have medicinal properties. Elaborate containers of gold or silver were made for them and they were exported to Europe. An ogival trellis containing a variety of beasts, including unicorns and griffins, overlays the container. The source of these images is likely to have come to Goa through Portuguese influence in the region.

  • Provenance

    Gough and Hall families, England, by descent from early 18th century; Humphrey Farran Hall, England, by descent (until d. 1910); George William Marshall, England(from 1910); sale, Bonhams, London, October 16, 2003, lot 349; [ Sam Fogg, London, until 2004; sold to MMA]

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
454738

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