This vintage hand-crank grinder is made of tamarisk wood, with hand-engraved silver melange adornment, hand carved camel bone embellishments, and numerous antique coins. Entirely handmade, this grinder was used by southern Morocco nomads while traveling and crossing the Sahara desert. We sourced the item from Zagora, Morocco, where the item has been handed down through generations.
The front of the grinder has a removable drawer, with two coins directly above the drawer pull. The coins are pounded but are recognizable as Moroccan Rial dating to the early 1910s. The front has rudimentary engraved silver half-star designs, with additional silver rivet accents. Both sides of the grinder have decorative silver designs, one with a bead of red coral in the middle, the other with green malachite in the middle.
On the back, a large camel is flanked by three antique coins, the aforementioned Moroccan rial. In the middle of the camel there is a large lapis lazuli gemstone. The top is a combination of metalwork techniques: extensive embossed brass, hand-hammered by a native; repousse silver meange; and hand-beaded brass. Four triangles of camel bone are on each corner, carved with the traditional Moroccan evil eye. One side of the lid opens, and the brass handle turns easily.
Used for grinding coffee or spices, this objet d'art is still fully functional. This objet d'art is entirely handmade by native Moroccan Berber artisans. It is mid 20th century, passed down through families.