Rev. John Watson
Porcupine Quill Box

porcupine quill box

We have heard from Dhevan de Saram that this is a traditional design of native handicraft from a small, isolated rural community in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon). The box is made of ebony, faced with quills of the Indian Crested Porcupine; the white dots are actually inlaid quills. We do not know when this box entered the family. Possibly it was a gift from someone who visited the country. Alternatively, the family might have acquired it on a stopover during one of their long sea voyages: South Africa to Australia (1883), or Australia to Britain (1889).  [May 2007]