Early 18th Century Spanish Colonial Silver Chocoletera.
We are proud to offer this very fine and rare Spanish colonial silver 'chocolatera'. A 'chocolatera', or chocolate pot, for those unfamiliar, is a type of tall, graduated vessel that has a specific set of objects and utensils associated with its preparation and consumption. The most recognizable feature of a chocolate pot is a hole in the lid where the chocolate mill, or 'molinillo', would be inserted. The molinillo is a type of whisk that is rubbed between the hands to briskly stir the chocolate.
Typical of Andean chocolate pots, the large scale and lack of adornment are characteristic features of chocolateras from the same genre and regions of South American. Conversely, the incredibly thick and sturdy manufacture of the example offered here is anything but typical - fashioned by hand for a person of import, this unusually heavy vessel was formed from a copious amount of pure, unadulterated, unalloyed silver, extracted from Andean mines roughly 250 - 300 years ago. Observable stress and fissure marks are evidence of the difficulties associated with annealing such pure, heavy gauged silver.
Unlike other contemporaneous examples, most of which conform to a traditional design that includes a protruding wooden 'Chonta' handle, straight vertical walls, and the absence of a spout, the chocolate pot offered here is entirely unique in almost every regard. Instead of vertical walls, this vessel features a bulbous, pear shaped body, tapered at the neck to conform with its tethered lid. In lieu of a wooden Chonta handle, a graceful solid silver scroll handle with raised beads and a thumb scroll at the bottom is utilized instead. The most striking feature however, is the charming and clever addition of an elongated spout which gracefully terminates into the head of a llama.
Weight: weighs an impressive 67.45 oz (excluding the wooden molinillo).
Dimensions: chocolatera measures 11 inches high x 12 inches wide at widest point. Overall height, including the wooden molinillo, is 15 inches.
Condition notes: scattered dents, dings, surface scratches and abrasions
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