A sterling silver Siam niello powder compact c. 1940. Siam niello ware has a fine quality and a particular lustre. Siam silver was very popular with visitors to the region from the 1930s. Niello was also popular traditionally in Siam for centuries and was collected by royal and wealthy families there. The lid shows an ornately engraved silver Dancing Angel – depicted with a long curved garland held behind her back. It is believed that warriors were turned into angels as described in the Ramayana.
All the figures represented are decorated with highly ornate engravings which is not captured by my camera as it is focusing on the black niello. The whole compact is in excellent condition with no loss of niello / design. All clasps & hinges work perfectly.
The mirror gives an accurate reflection. However, there is significant haze when viewed from some angles.
The base shows the Matcha ( the Mermaid Queen) with Hanuman, she appears with him in the Ramakien. Hanuman (King of Monkeys – a clothed monkey-diety holding a sword) was sent by Prince Rama to build a bridge over Queen Matcha’s Sea Kingdom but the Monkey King falls in love with her instead. The compact is engraved ' STERLING SIAM'. Measures 7 cm. Weighs 74.4 grams.
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