An inlaid wooden card-press with a long rectangular base slightly sloping on either side, the central section with four rectangular upright pillars connected by a bridge-like top. A metal rod extends through the centre of the bridge and is attached to a heavy central press section, which fits neatly around the horizontal pillars. The metal rod has a bone finial and can be pulled upwards and pressed downwards. The base is inlaid with a bone foliate decoration and a chevron type banding around the edges. The heavy movable central press is inlaid with incised bone and a similar chevron banding.
This highly unusual playing card press is inlaid in bone and ivory. When the bone knob is lifted, a pack of cards can be inserted and then the plunger is pressed down. Playing cards were considered a luxury item in the past that only wealthy people owned. As playing cards were considered valuable they were sometimes preserved in a card press. A comparable inlaid card-press from Sri Lanka is in the collection of Christopher Ondaatje.
- Weereratne, N., Visions of an Island, Rare Works from Sri Lanka in the Christopher Ondaatje Collection, London, 1999, page 140