Recognising Kutch Silver
Kutch or Cutch silver is a regional style of Indian Silver which was made in the Kutch Region in the west of India. Its most recognizable feature is its scrolling foliate patterns. These crisp, tight patterns weave around the surface of the piece. Interspersed between the foliate patterns are depictions of animals, birds and hunting scenes.
Bordering the main frieze of the tray above, are bands acanthus leaves, gadrooning and geometrical patterns.
Nearly all kutch silver made objects and vessels of European form, although, pieces in Islamic and Indian form are occasionally seen. Silversmiths tried to cater to the high demand from Europe. Common items of kutch silver include: tea sets, trays, goblets, beakers, ewers, mugs, candlesticks, card cases and casters.
The best pieces of silver can be identified by the quality of detail, the irregularities of its design and its presence. The maker of an item may also be important, although most pieces do not have a maker’s mark or any form of identification.
One interesting detail from a tray in our collection, is how the animal depictions in the foreground blend with the background foliage. On this tray, the birds are perched on the stems, sit on the leaves and fly around unimpaired by the background.
Watt, George. Indian Art at Delhi 1903. London: John Murray, 1904.
Wilkinson, Wynyard. Indian Silver 1858 – 1947. 1999.
- Joseph Cohen