Beautiful coco de mer, late 19th century

Beautiful coco de mer, late 19th century


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A beautiful coco de mer nut with two hinged compartments open dating to the latter part of the 19th century.

The coco de mer nut (scientific name: Lodoicea )is a very rare seed native to the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, its suggestive form leading to all sorts of legendary fables. Many were collected by seafarers and gifted to royalty and noblemen who saw them symbols of fertility and embellished them with jewels and precious metals.

Until the source of the nut was discovered in 1768, it was believed to grow on a mythical tree at the bottom of the sea because it was once believed to be a sea-bean or drift seed, a seed evolved to be dispersed by the sea. However, it is now known that the viable nut is too dense to float, and only rotted out nuts can be found on the sea surface, thus explaining why the trees are limited in range to just two islands.

Condition: excellent

Dimensions: 27cm long x 29cm wide x 14cm high