A billboard in Ulan Bator.

In 1994 we purchased a collection of Mongolian silver pieces from the estate of a French collector who had been head of the Banc du Chine in Shanghai in the 1920s.

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1. Nomad's Knife and Chopsticks Eating Set. 1920s. Silver, ivory, wood, iron. 13" (33 cm.) long. The wooden sheath is decorated with silver dragons; the chopsticks are ivory. A beautiful set, very solidly made, the silver quite thick and nicely worked. SOLD
2. Nomad Eating Set with Fire Starter. 19th Century. 11 3/4" (29 cm.) long. The sheath and knife handle are of tortoise shell, the two chopsticks and a third piece (long toothpick?) of ivory and the mecha, or firestarter, in good quality leather with brass decorations. SOLD
3. Burlwood and Silver Box. Early 20th Century. 3 1/2" (9 cm.) diameter, 2 1/4" (6 cm.) high. A little jewel of a box -- beautiful burlwood with enamelled silver and set with coral and very green turquoise stones and standing on little silver ball feet. $425.
4. Box with Buddha and Yin Yang Clasp. 1920s, Mongolia 3" wide, 3 3/4" high. A rectangular box on round pedestal feet, the top decorated with a crowned Buddha seated on a lotus and surrounded by flowers, enamel swirls and coral and green turquoise stones. The swivel clasp in in the form of an unfolding yin yang symbol. SOLD.
5. Silver and Burlwood Tsampa Bowl. Mongolia, 1920s. 5 1/2" (14 cm.) in diamter by 4" (10 cm.) high. A burlwood bowl used for mixing and eating tsampa (roasted barley flour) with butter tea. The top is covered in silver and studded with coral and green turquoise stones. Note: There is a recent break on the inside lip of the bowl (visible in the 4th photo). SOLD.
6. Silver and Burlwood Cup. Mongolia, 1920s. Diameter 4 3/4"; height 2". Used for tea and rice beer -- everyone carries his own cup and when travellers meet they share a drink of whatever they have. Carved from a heavy knot of burlwood and lined with silver on the inside and the base. A fierce lion is etched on the silver of the inside and dragons, clouds, mountains and coral stones surround the base. SOLD.
7. Silver Snuff Bottle with Dragons. Mongolia, 1920s. Height 3 1/2". Pierced silver work surounds a central, small bottle. Both the front and back of the bottle are decorated with dragons, the sides with smiling demons and the top with coral and very green turquoise stones. SOLD.
8. Snuff Bottle with Coral and Turquoise. Mongolia, 1920s. Height 2 3/4". In rectangular form with coral and green turquoise on both the front and back as well as the top. SOLD
9. Enamelled Snuff Bottle. Mongolia, 1920s. Height 2 7/8". Both sides decorated with an enamelled endless knot design in a circle of coral and green turquoise. Each side of the bottle has the face of a smiling demon. SOLD.
10. Silver Box with Enamel. Mongolia, 1920s. Diameter 3 1/2"; height 2 1/4". A simple round box with geometric enamelled designs around the top and the base. Set with coral and green turquoise. SOLD
11. Pair of Hair Ornaments. Mongolia, 1920s. Each 2 3/4" by 2 1/4". Beautifully worked, the front is decorated with dragons and mountains and large coral stones, one side is decorated with coral and turquoise, and one side and the back are plain. They snap open and closed on a hinge. SOLD

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