This rare late 19th century coconut bank, hand carved by a prisoner in Mexico's infamous San Juan de Ulua prison, features several dancers, musicians, flower blossoms and inscriptions. While liberties were few and far between at San Juan de Ulua, to pass the time prisoners were permitted to carve coconuts, gourds and seeds which would then be sold on the prison steps as souvenirs. Tools were of course not permitted in prison so prisoners used whatever found scrap materials available, including nails, glass shards or small metal fragments. The quality and the depth of the carving represented in this bank is superlative though its most distinguishing features are the mother of pearl button eyes and the fret carved bone teeth backed in reflective copper foil.
Dimensions: 5.5 inches x 4 inches diameter.
Condition notes: In good, original, unbroken condition. Original.
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Colonial Arts | 151 Vermont Street Street, Suite 6 | San Francisco, CA., 94103 | www.colonialarts.com