Rare South American Mate Cup 18k Gold Inlay on Silver with Horse Motif
Rare South American, silver mate cup with 18k gold inlay on silver, showcasing highly intricate, curvilinear motifs, including a gilt horse motif, standing on 3 legs, measuring 5 1/4'' in height by 2 1/2'' in depth, weighing 3.6 troy ounces (112 grams), and bearing hallmarks as shown.
Maté is a word of 'quichua' origin (mati) that identifies a vase used to drink. In Peru and Rio de la Plata, maté is the name of calabash tree fruit used to contain an infusion of herbs original of Paraguay. The use of this container spread through South America in a way that also the infusion assumed the name of maté (Yerba Mate). Mate became the most common ingredient in household cures of the Guarani, and now, more than a drink, Yerba Mate has become a cultural phenomenon throughout South America. The most ancient mate cups were, presumably, of Peruvian origin, but there are documents attesting their existence in Buenos Aires (Argentina) since the beginning of the 18th century.
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