One of the pleasures of working at Sotheby's is the large array of unusual and beautiful objects that find their way through our doors. Just recently an exquisite and charming little gold, polychrome enamelled and gem-set parrot flask came to us from India. Not literally of course - the object was produced in nineteenth century India - but to see this delightful parrot perched on a forked branch, decorated with translucent emerald green and red enamel, with faceted gems and a lotus blossom in its beak and featuring a delicate seed-pearl stopper, does indeed transport us to an exotic setting. It is hard to imagine this level of craftsmanship and elaborate detail devoted to a modern object - one which even hides a secret function.
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