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Colonial Indian silver tea set

£ 1,950

Silversmith
Place

Calcutta

Year

c1890

This quality Indian tea service is beautifully hand-chased with rural local scenes. On the teapot they depict people working the fields and chopping wood, pounding grain or rice and people carrying a litter (sedan chair), all against a backdrop of thatched buildings among trees and palms. The handles are formed as cobras and the removable teapot cover is surmounted by a detachable finial in the form of Lakshmi or Laxmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity. The interiors of the cream jug and sugar bowl are gilded.

The sugar bowl is decorated with a series of people carrying rice, chopping wood, bullocks ploughing the fields and a water carrier with a basket on his head. The milk jug shows similar scenes, a bullock, wood cutter and another couple carrying a litter.

In Bhovanipore, a suburb of Calcutta, local silversmiths Dass & Dutt were known for creating silverware featuring elaborately designed répoussée and chased scenes of Indian village and farming life. Scenes depicted farmers harvesting their crops against a backdrop of mounts, palm trees and other foliage while human figures are often illustrated interacting with elephants, tigers and domestics animals.

Height
150mm (6")
Length
225mm (8 3/4")
Weight
1239g (39.83 troy ozs )
Condition
Excellent
Reference
5714
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