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ARTS & CRAFTS: Ivories from Ceylon

Exquisite craftsmanship on an ivory chest with precious stones, (1543-1555), Ceylon

(Privatsammlung)

Museum Rietberg, Zurich, on now till March 13, 2011

16th century trading relations between Portugal and Ceylon, today’s Sri Lanka, resulted in rare goods such as precious woods, spices, ivory carvings, gemstones and exotic animals reaching Europe. The highlight of the exhibition is a collection of exquisite ivory caskets embellished with gold and precious stones and fans made out of wafer-thin ivory, taken from the collection of the Portuguese queen Katharina von Habsburg (1507–1578).


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