Rare Mongolian Flint Pouch

 

19th century, Mongolia. 2.5″ x 2.5″.  Leather and metal.

This small pouch was carried by a Mongolian nomad to start a fire.  It has an iron blade attached to the outside and would have a flint inside but it is now missing. It was a principal accessory worn by the nomad.

The pouch is made of leather and decorated with copper and bronze.  It has a small metal plate inscribed with a signature or seal attached to the outside of the pouch.  This suggests the exquisitely crafted pouch must be of significant importance to its owner who probably was a tribal leader.  A thin braided cord threaded through a decorative piece of bone is attached to the pouch so it can dangle from a belt, much like a Japanese inro.  This pouch, found in China in the 1990s, is quite rare with nomadic life largely disappeared in Mongolia as well as Tibet.

Price: $670