Revere Auctions
Live Auction

The Arts of Asia, India, & the Middle East

Tue, Jul 18, 2023 11:00AM EDT
Lot 93

2 Cambodian Silver Elephant Betel Nut Boxes

Estimate: $800 - $1,600

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$300 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
$500,000 $25,000
$1,000,000 $50,000
$10,000,000 $100,000
Group of two Cambodian silver betel nut boxes in the form of elephants. Their trunks are raised above their heads and they rest on bent legs. The larger box is marked along the underside "T90" (90%) silver.

Provenance: From the Estate of C. Curtis "Curt" Dunnavan, Long Lake, Minnesota.

C. Curtis "Curt" Dunnavan (1926-2022) was a passionate world traveler and avid collector. It was through his travels that he was inspired to begin a lifelong relationship with the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), becoming a major sponsor of the institute and facilitating the growth of their Asian art department, which is now one of the best in the country. His generous donations to Mia allowed them to establish a fund for the Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer, one of the few endowed positions of this type in the museum field. He additionally served as a trustee of the institute, advocating for its operational growth. In its turn, the museum established a gallery named in his honor in recognition for his endowment fund and numerous contributions to their collection. The selections here showcase his talent and breadth of collecting, ranging from ancient statues to 19th-century woodblock prints. His appreciation for art persisted throughout his life and we are honored to offer items from his collection in this auction.

Larger elephant; height: 8 3/4 in x width: 10 1/2 in x depth: 5 in. Smaller elephant; height: 4 1/4 in x width: 5 1/2 in x depth: 2 3/4 in.


Wear and minute dents throughout both items; dust collected along the recessed areas. Both items open and close easily. Light discoloration throughout both items as shown in the listing image. The bigger elephant has minute dents along the area where the lid and the body meets. Along the interior, there are several scattered areas with old polish; please see the listing image. There is a 1/4 in. minute crack to the back of the tail, which is only visible under careful inspection. The smaller elephant has minute dents along the area where the lid and the body meets. Along the interior, the surface is covered with old polish as shown in the listing. To the tip of the nose, there is green residue collected; along where the tusk and the face of the elephant meet, there is green residue adhered. To the side of the body, there is a minute loss. Both items do not have visible signs of restoration under UV light.

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