The background consists of a floral pattern, interlace and scaled ornamentation. Three small leopards support the base, and one sits on the lid. A snake serves as the curving handle, and a martial-looking Portuguese man stands front center, holding what appears to be a snake torn in two – the front end in his left hand, the tail end in his right. Two eyelets protrude from opposite sides of the upper curvature so that the vessel can be hung. These show no signs of wear, suggesting that the vessel more likely stood as regalia than hung for use. A nicely evolved patina is visible under magnification. The condition is very good.
According to oral history, the vessel was a gift from a Nigerian diplomat to a colleague from The Gambia, in whose possession it remained for several decades until it was purchased, along with several other items, by a Banjul-based German businessman. When giving the gift, the Nigerian owner told his colleague that the vessel was once used to store gunpowder.