Dating from the mid 20th century, a striking and practical enamel beaker in monochrome palette featuring simple black ring decoration and a hand painted depiction of the Lion of Judah*. Such beakers, of European manufacture (often Poland or Italy), always show slight variations in the image of the lion, each having their own character. They were imported into Ethiopia reputedly to be used at the court of Haile Selaisse I (1892-1975). Haile Selaisse I was Emperor of Ethiopia 1930-1974 and is revered as a God incarnate by the Rastafari Movement. These utilitarian yet appealing beakers, now increasingly scarce, replicate the form of traditional cups of Ethiopia but made from horn. Ideal today for a variety of uses including as a pen pot, for make-up brushes or kitchen utensils. Circa 1950.
Condition: As is typical with enamel there are some losses particularly to the base and lip but these don`t detract from the piece in use.
* The Lion of Judah emblem is seen throughout Ethiopia. It has been a symbol of Ethiopia and in particular their Emperors since the 10th century when according to legend the Queen of Sheba returned to Ethiopia after a visit to meet with King Solomon in Jerusalem, pregnant with the future emperor of Ethiopia, Emperor Menelik I.