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{"id":5592365138070,"title":"Antique Burmese Silver Beaker (hpala) Maung Kywet Ni, (maung Chwet Nee), Mawlamyine (moulmein), Burma (myanmar) – 19th Century","handle":"antique-burmese-silver-beaker-hpala-maung-kywet-ni-maung-chwet-nee-mawlamyine-moulmein-burma-myanmar-19th-century","description":"\u003cp\u003eThis beaker is of the highest quality and was probably made for especially for an International Exhibition.  It is fully signed to the underside in Burmese script, by a master silversmith, Maung Kywet Ni (Maung Chwet Nee), recorded as exhibiting at such events.  As most silversmiths of the period were illiterate, silver was more usually signed with a maker’s unique pictorial mark. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn excellent original condition, the beaker has been deeply ornamented using repousse and chased techniques; the relief is high and crisp with good definition. A thin plain band has been left to the very bottom whilst immediately under the rim and down has been heavily ornamented with rich scenes contained within beadwork borders to top and bottom.  \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAll the ornamentation is set against a finely ring punched ground.  At the base, a deep crisp band of stylised water cabbage leaves (\u003cem\u003ehmaw\u003c\/em\u003e),  serve as the foundation for the scenes above. The central figural scenes are contained within decorative and deeply defined architectural archways, with each scene separated from the next by a tree ‘column’, supporting the archway at its lowest point.  A wonderfully imaginative dragon or mythical creature is portayed above the low point of each archway, interspersed by soft fronds of curling foliage.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe mastery of this silversmith can be seen through his adept handling of the human form (\u003cem\u003enari).\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/em\u003eHumans and demons are shown in a variety of postures, passive and active; the figures appear anatomically correct and show a wide range of movements and facial expressions.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe signature to the underside of the base states that the maker is Maung Kywet Ni of Moulmein and the style of the writing is consistent with a late 19\u003csup\u003eth\u003c\/sup\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ecentury date.  Under a slightly different spelling, Maung Chwet Nee is listed in Wilkinson’s book as being based in Rangoon. Wilkinson’s list is composed of elite Burmese silversmiths, working between 1875 and 1910, who are recorded as having shown work in International Exhibitions of the period. It is believed that these two spellings denote the same person; Rangoon and Moulmein are not far apart and the maker may have lived in both of these places at some point in time.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMawlamyine (Moulmein) was the first capital of British Burma between the years of 1826 and 1852 after the Tanintharyi (Tenassarim) coast, along with Arakan, was ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Yandabo which marked the end of the First Anglo-Burmese War.  \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn the arts, Moulmein is the setting of George Orwell's famous 1936 memoir,  'Shooting an Elephant', which opens with the words:-\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\"In Moulmein, in Lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people—the only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me.\"\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eDuring colonial times, Moulmein had a substantial Anglo-Burmese population and an area of the city became known as 'Little England' due to the large Anglo-Burmese community living there, many of whom who were involved in the rubber business and plantations.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMoulmein also features in the opening lines of Rudyard Kipling's poem, Mandalay:-\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e                  \"By the old Moulmein pagoda, lookin' lazy at the sea,\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e                   There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me\"\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003cbr\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eProvenance:\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e        UK art market\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eSize:\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e                         Height: 8.5 cms, width: 9 cms\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eWeight:                  \u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e277 grammes\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eReferences:\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHarry L. Tilly, The Silverwork of Burma by with photographs by P Klier, Rangoon 1902\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHarry L. Tilly, Modern Burmese Silverwork, Superintendent, Government Printing, Rangoon, Burma; 1st edition (1904)\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWynyard R T Wilkinson, Indian Silver 1858-1947: Decorative Silver from the Indian Sub-Continent and Burma Made by Local Craftsmen in Western Forms, page 36, W Wilkinson \u0026amp; Indar Pashrical Fine Arts, London 1997\u003c\/p\u003e","published_at":"2020-08-09T22:51:00+01:00","created_at":"2020-08-09T22:50:58+01:00","vendor":"Joseph Cohen Antiques","type":"Beaker","tags":["Sold Archive"],"price":0,"price_min":0,"price_max":0,"available":false,"price_varies":false,"compare_at_price":null,"compare_at_price_min":0,"compare_at_price_max":0,"compare_at_price_varies":false,"variants":[{"id":35689178857622,"title":"Default Title","option1":"Default Title","option2":null,"option3":null,"sku":"","requires_shipping":true,"taxable":true,"featured_image":null,"available":false,"name":"Antique Burmese Silver Beaker (hpala) Maung Kywet Ni, (maung Chwet Nee), Mawlamyine (moulmein), Burma (myanmar) – 19th Century","public_title":null,"options":["Default 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cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/H1L_2016-07-04-joseph-91.jpg?v=1597009860","width":768},{"alt":null,"id":10620734734486,"position":10,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"width":768,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/HUDY_2016-07-04-joseph-88.jpg?v=1597009862"},"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"media_type":"image","src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/HUDY_2016-07-04-joseph-88.jpg?v=1597009862","width":768},{"alt":null,"id":10620734767254,"position":11,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"width":768,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/CB2_2016-07-04-joseph-93.jpg?v=1597009862"},"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"media_type":"image","src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/CB2_2016-07-04-joseph-93.jpg?v=1597009862","width":768}],"content":"\u003cp\u003eThis beaker is of the highest quality and was probably made for especially for an International Exhibition.  It is fully signed to the underside in Burmese script, by a master silversmith, Maung Kywet Ni (Maung Chwet Nee), recorded as exhibiting at such events.  As most silversmiths of the period were illiterate, silver was more usually signed with a maker’s unique pictorial mark. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn excellent original condition, the beaker has been deeply ornamented using repousse and chased techniques; the relief is high and crisp with good definition. A thin plain band has been left to the very bottom whilst immediately under the rim and down has been heavily ornamented with rich scenes contained within beadwork borders to top and bottom.  \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAll the ornamentation is set against a finely ring punched ground.  At the base, a deep crisp band of stylised water cabbage leaves (\u003cem\u003ehmaw\u003c\/em\u003e),  serve as the foundation for the scenes above. The central figural scenes are contained within decorative and deeply defined architectural archways, with each scene separated from the next by a tree ‘column’, supporting the archway at its lowest point.  A wonderfully imaginative dragon or mythical creature is portayed above the low point of each archway, interspersed by soft fronds of curling foliage.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe mastery of this silversmith can be seen through his adept handling of the human form (\u003cem\u003enari).\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/em\u003eHumans and demons are shown in a variety of postures, passive and active; the figures appear anatomically correct and show a wide range of movements and facial expressions.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe signature to the underside of the base states that the maker is Maung Kywet Ni of Moulmein and the style of the writing is consistent with a late 19\u003csup\u003eth\u003c\/sup\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ecentury date.  Under a slightly different spelling, Maung Chwet Nee is listed in Wilkinson’s book as being based in Rangoon. Wilkinson’s list is composed of elite Burmese silversmiths, working between 1875 and 1910, who are recorded as having shown work in International Exhibitions of the period. It is believed that these two spellings denote the same person; Rangoon and Moulmein are not far apart and the maker may have lived in both of these places at some point in time.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMawlamyine (Moulmein) was the first capital of British Burma between the years of 1826 and 1852 after the Tanintharyi (Tenassarim) coast, along with Arakan, was ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Yandabo which marked the end of the First Anglo-Burmese War.  \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn the arts, Moulmein is the setting of George Orwell's famous 1936 memoir,  'Shooting an Elephant', which opens with the words:-\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\"In Moulmein, in Lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people—the only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me.\"\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eDuring colonial times, Moulmein had a substantial Anglo-Burmese population and an area of the city became known as 'Little England' due to the large Anglo-Burmese community living there, many of whom who were involved in the rubber business and plantations.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMoulmein also features in the opening lines of Rudyard Kipling's poem, Mandalay:-\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e                  \"By the old Moulmein pagoda, lookin' lazy at the sea,\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e                   There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me\"\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003cbr\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eProvenance:\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e        UK art market\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eSize:\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e                         Height: 8.5 cms, width: 9 cms\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eWeight:                  \u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e277 grammes\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eReferences:\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHarry L. Tilly, The Silverwork of Burma by with photographs by P Klier, Rangoon 1902\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHarry L. Tilly, Modern Burmese Silverwork, Superintendent, Government Printing, Rangoon, Burma; 1st edition (1904)\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWynyard R T Wilkinson, Indian Silver 1858-1947: Decorative Silver from the Indian Sub-Continent and Burma Made by Local Craftsmen in Western Forms, page 36, W Wilkinson \u0026amp; Indar Pashrical Fine Arts, London 1997\u003c\/p\u003e"}

Antique Burmese Silver Beaker (hpala) Maung Kywet Ni, (maung Chwet Nee), Mawlamyine (moulmein), Burma (myanmar) – 19th Century

Product Description

This beaker is of the highest quality and was probably made for especially for an International Exhibition.  It is fully signed to the underside in Burmese script, by a master silversmith, Maung Kywet Ni (Maung Chwet Nee), recorded as exhibiting at such events.  As most silversmiths of the period were illiterate, silver was more usually signed with a maker’s unique pictorial mark. 

In excellent original condition, the beaker has been deeply ornamented using repousse and chased techniques; the relief is high and crisp with good definition. A thin plain band has been left to the very bottom whilst immediately under the rim and down has been heavily ornamented with rich scenes contained within beadwork borders to top and bottom.  

All the ornamentation is set against a finely ring punched ground.  At the base, a deep crisp band of stylised water cabbage leaves (hmaw),  serve as the foundation for the scenes above. The central figural scenes are contained within decorative and deeply defined architectural archways, with each scene separated from the next by a tree ‘column’, supporting the archway at its lowest point.  A wonderfully imaginative dragon or mythical creature is portayed above the low point of each archway, interspersed by soft fronds of curling foliage.

The mastery of this silversmith can be seen through his adept handling of the human form (nari). Humans and demons are shown in a variety of postures, passive and active; the figures appear anatomically correct and show a wide range of movements and facial expressions.

The signature to the underside of the base states that the maker is Maung Kywet Ni of Moulmein and the style of the writing is consistent with a late 19th century date.  Under a slightly different spelling, Maung Chwet Nee is listed in Wilkinson’s book as being based in Rangoon. Wilkinson’s list is composed of elite Burmese silversmiths, working between 1875 and 1910, who are recorded as having shown work in International Exhibitions of the period. It is believed that these two spellings denote the same person; Rangoon and Moulmein are not far apart and the maker may have lived in both of these places at some point in time.

Mawlamyine (Moulmein) was the first capital of British Burma between the years of 1826 and 1852 after the Tanintharyi (Tenassarim) coast, along with Arakan, was ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Yandabo which marked the end of the First Anglo-Burmese War.  

In the arts, Moulmein is the setting of George Orwell's famous 1936 memoir,  'Shooting an Elephant', which opens with the words:-

"In Moulmein, in Lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people—the only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me."

During colonial times, Moulmein had a substantial Anglo-Burmese population and an area of the city became known as 'Little England' due to the large Anglo-Burmese community living there, many of whom who were involved in the rubber business and plantations.

Moulmein also features in the opening lines of Rudyard Kipling's poem, Mandalay:-

                  "By the old Moulmein pagoda, lookin' lazy at the sea,

                   There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me"

 

Provenance:        UK art market

Size:                         Height: 8.5 cms, width: 9 cms

Weight:                  277 grammes

References:

Harry L. Tilly, The Silverwork of Burma by with photographs by P Klier, Rangoon 1902

Harry L. Tilly, Modern Burmese Silverwork, Superintendent, Government Printing, Rangoon, Burma; 1st edition (1904)

Wynyard R T Wilkinson, Indian Silver 1858-1947: Decorative Silver from the Indian Sub-Continent and Burma Made by Local Craftsmen in Western Forms, page 36, W Wilkinson & Indar Pashrical Fine Arts, London 1997

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