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{"id":5592451317910,"title":"Antique Indian Silver Gilt \u0026 Enamel Beaker Minakari, Animal Scenes, Lucknow, India – Circa 1850","handle":"antique-indian-silver-gilt-and-enamel-beaker-minakari-animal-scenes-lucknow-india-circa-1850","description":"\u003cp\u003eThis charming and colourful antique Indian silver gilt beaker was made in Lucknow in the middle of the nineteenth century in the typical style of this region. Four narrow bands of simple stylised geometric four-petalled flowers divide the beaker horizontally into three areas of ornament.  Each part contains an enamelled border with the deepest and principal border occupying the central space.  The top border contains a repeating undulating border comprised of foliate elements interspersed with stylised flowers.  The bottom border also contains a display of foliage and flowers but the arrangement is less formalised and more graceful and naturalistic.  The deep central border is more of a landscape with hummocks of grasses and plants along the bottom, one of which depicts small animals in their burrows under the mound. There are some trees, including a palm, and flowering plants, scattered amongst the greenery are many different kinds of birds, including ducks and a peacock and larger animals such as antelopes, rabbits, buffalo, monkey, elephant and a big cat, possibly a lion. The arrangement is crowded and busy, evoking the jungle. There is some wear to the gilding around the body although the gilding to the interior and the underside of the base is still sumptuous.   There are some losses of enamel but they do not detract from what is still a very attractive beaker and a great example of Lucknow enamelling on silver from the 19\u003csup\u003eth\u003c\/sup\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ecentury.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn 1775, Asaf-ud-Daulah became Nawab of Oudh. Within a short time, he moved the capital from Faizabad to Lucknow.  Asaf-ud-Daulah reigned from 1775 to 1797 and under him, the Court of the Nawab at Lucknow flourished, becoming glorious and the pre-eminent Indian Court of the age. Many distinguished artists, writers, poets, musicians, traders and craftsmen flocked to Lucknow in pursuit of his royal patronage and established residence there.  As a result of this, the arts flourished in Lucknow and by the end of the 18\u003csup\u003eth\u003c\/sup\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ecentury, the craftsmen of Lucknow had devised their own particular method of enamelling silver using a palette of predominantly, blue and green transparent enamels with some lesser use of yellow and brown enamel, particularly to depict animals. By the mid-nineteenth century, violet and opaque Gamboges yellow, which can be seen on the beaker, had been added to this colour palette.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eUnusually, the craftsmen of Lucknow first drew the outline of the pattern onto the silver object using dyes as Rita Devi Sharma and M Varadarajan explain. “The pattern is minutely drawn and overflows with design and colour, …The surfaces are laden to an astonishing extent with foliage and animal figures.  Fish forms are also prominent in this work.  Flowers, foliage and vine leaf designs are popular motifs in Lucknow enamel work.” \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe art of enamelling is believed to have been brought to India from Persia and most enamellers were members of the Sikh religion. The enamellers, or\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eminakars\u003c\/em\u003e, worked in their own homes, assisted by members of their family and normally did not deal with the public directly but worked as sub-contractors to the trade. They were commissioned by jewellers, goldsmiths and silversmiths who kept paper patterns of enamel designs to show to their customers. When the customer had selected the enamel design and placed his order, the silversmith made the object and his chaser would chase the surface of the object with the design, hollowing out depressions around it to accept the enamel and hatching the depressions to aid the bonding process. This type of enamelling is described as basse taille enamel.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOnce the chasing had been completed, the object was sent out to the enameller. The enameller would grind down vitreous material so that it was ready for use as a paste. Enamelling on silver was much harder and more likely to fail than enamelling on gold or copper because it was much harder to fix the enamel onto the silver and some enamellers refused to work with silver. The enamelling process was lengthy and very complex, requiring many different stages of cleaning with acid, firing and burnishing. The objects were placed on pieces of talc before firing in clay ovens.  As different colours of enamel require different firing temperatures, a strict order of application was necessary. If the firing was not successful it would be redone until it was perfect.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eDimensions\u003c\/em\u003e:-  Height 10.5 cms; Width 8.5 cms\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eWeight\u003c\/em\u003e:-          174 grammes\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eProvenance\u003c\/em\u003e:-  UK art market\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eReferences:-\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eRita Devi Sharma and M Varadarajan, Handcrafted Indian Enamel Jewellery, Roli Books, India, Singapore 2004\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMark Zebrowski, Gold, Silver \u0026amp; Bronze from Mughal India, Alexandra Press in association with Laurence King, London 1997\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eH Hendley, Journal of Indian Art, Issue 2, Volume 1, W Griggs, London 1886\u003c\/p\u003e","published_at":"2020-08-10T00:01:31+01:00","created_at":"2020-08-10T00:01:30+01:00","vendor":"Joseph Cohen Antiques","type":"Beaker","tags":["Sold 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charming and colourful antique Indian silver gilt beaker was made in Lucknow in the middle of the nineteenth century in the typical style of this region. Four narrow bands of simple stylised geometric four-petalled flowers divide the beaker horizontally into three areas of ornament.  Each part contains an enamelled border with the deepest and principal border occupying the central space.  The top border contains a repeating undulating border comprised of foliate elements interspersed with stylised flowers.  The bottom border also contains a display of foliage and flowers but the arrangement is less formalised and more graceful and naturalistic.  The deep central border is more of a landscape with hummocks of grasses and plants along the bottom, one of which depicts small animals in their burrows under the mound. There are some trees, including a palm, and flowering plants, scattered amongst the greenery are many different kinds of birds, including ducks and a peacock and larger animals such as antelopes, rabbits, buffalo, monkey, elephant and a big cat, possibly a lion. The arrangement is crowded and busy, evoking the jungle. There is some wear to the gilding around the body although the gilding to the interior and the underside of the base is still sumptuous.   There are some losses of enamel but they do not detract from what is still a very attractive beaker and a great example of Lucknow enamelling on silver from the 19\u003csup\u003eth\u003c\/sup\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ecentury.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn 1775, Asaf-ud-Daulah became Nawab of Oudh. Within a short time, he moved the capital from Faizabad to Lucknow.  Asaf-ud-Daulah reigned from 1775 to 1797 and under him, the Court of the Nawab at Lucknow flourished, becoming glorious and the pre-eminent Indian Court of the age. Many distinguished artists, writers, poets, musicians, traders and craftsmen flocked to Lucknow in pursuit of his royal patronage and established residence there.  As a result of this, the arts flourished in Lucknow and by the end of the 18\u003csup\u003eth\u003c\/sup\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ecentury, the craftsmen of Lucknow had devised their own particular method of enamelling silver using a palette of predominantly, blue and green transparent enamels with some lesser use of yellow and brown enamel, particularly to depict animals. By the mid-nineteenth century, violet and opaque Gamboges yellow, which can be seen on the beaker, had been added to this colour palette.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eUnusually, the craftsmen of Lucknow first drew the outline of the pattern onto the silver object using dyes as Rita Devi Sharma and M Varadarajan explain. “The pattern is minutely drawn and overflows with design and colour, …The surfaces are laden to an astonishing extent with foliage and animal figures.  Fish forms are also prominent in this work.  Flowers, foliage and vine leaf designs are popular motifs in Lucknow enamel work.” \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe art of enamelling is believed to have been brought to India from Persia and most enamellers were members of the Sikh religion. The enamellers, or\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003eminakars\u003c\/em\u003e, worked in their own homes, assisted by members of their family and normally did not deal with the public directly but worked as sub-contractors to the trade. They were commissioned by jewellers, goldsmiths and silversmiths who kept paper patterns of enamel designs to show to their customers. When the customer had selected the enamel design and placed his order, the silversmith made the object and his chaser would chase the surface of the object with the design, hollowing out depressions around it to accept the enamel and hatching the depressions to aid the bonding process. This type of enamelling is described as basse taille enamel.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOnce the chasing had been completed, the object was sent out to the enameller. The enameller would grind down vitreous material so that it was ready for use as a paste. Enamelling on silver was much harder and more likely to fail than enamelling on gold or copper because it was much harder to fix the enamel onto the silver and some enamellers refused to work with silver. The enamelling process was lengthy and very complex, requiring many different stages of cleaning with acid, firing and burnishing. The objects were placed on pieces of talc before firing in clay ovens.  As different colours of enamel require different firing temperatures, a strict order of application was necessary. If the firing was not successful it would be redone until it was perfect.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eDimensions\u003c\/em\u003e:-  Height 10.5 cms; Width 8.5 cms\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eWeight\u003c\/em\u003e:-          174 grammes\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eProvenance\u003c\/em\u003e:-  UK art market\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eReferences:-\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eRita Devi Sharma and M Varadarajan, Handcrafted Indian Enamel Jewellery, Roli Books, India, Singapore 2004\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMark Zebrowski, Gold, Silver \u0026amp; Bronze from Mughal India, Alexandra Press in association with Laurence King, London 1997\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eH Hendley, Journal of Indian Art, Issue 2, Volume 1, W Griggs, London 1886\u003c\/p\u003e"}

Antique Indian Silver Gilt & Enamel Beaker Minakari, Animal Scenes, Lucknow, India – Circa 1850

Product Description

This charming and colourful antique Indian silver gilt beaker was made in Lucknow in the middle of the nineteenth century in the typical style of this region. Four narrow bands of simple stylised geometric four-petalled flowers divide the beaker horizontally into three areas of ornament.  Each part contains an enamelled border with the deepest and principal border occupying the central space.  The top border contains a repeating undulating border comprised of foliate elements interspersed with stylised flowers.  The bottom border also contains a display of foliage and flowers but the arrangement is less formalised and more graceful and naturalistic.  The deep central border is more of a landscape with hummocks of grasses and plants along the bottom, one of which depicts small animals in their burrows under the mound. There are some trees, including a palm, and flowering plants, scattered amongst the greenery are many different kinds of birds, including ducks and a peacock and larger animals such as antelopes, rabbits, buffalo, monkey, elephant and a big cat, possibly a lion. The arrangement is crowded and busy, evoking the jungle. There is some wear to the gilding around the body although the gilding to the interior and the underside of the base is still sumptuous.   There are some losses of enamel but they do not detract from what is still a very attractive beaker and a great example of Lucknow enamelling on silver from the 19th century.

In 1775, Asaf-ud-Daulah became Nawab of Oudh. Within a short time, he moved the capital from Faizabad to Lucknow.  Asaf-ud-Daulah reigned from 1775 to 1797 and under him, the Court of the Nawab at Lucknow flourished, becoming glorious and the pre-eminent Indian Court of the age. Many distinguished artists, writers, poets, musicians, traders and craftsmen flocked to Lucknow in pursuit of his royal patronage and established residence there.  As a result of this, the arts flourished in Lucknow and by the end of the 18th century, the craftsmen of Lucknow had devised their own particular method of enamelling silver using a palette of predominantly, blue and green transparent enamels with some lesser use of yellow and brown enamel, particularly to depict animals. By the mid-nineteenth century, violet and opaque Gamboges yellow, which can be seen on the beaker, had been added to this colour palette.

Unusually, the craftsmen of Lucknow first drew the outline of the pattern onto the silver object using dyes as Rita Devi Sharma and M Varadarajan explain. “The pattern is minutely drawn and overflows with design and colour, …The surfaces are laden to an astonishing extent with foliage and animal figures.  Fish forms are also prominent in this work.  Flowers, foliage and vine leaf designs are popular motifs in Lucknow enamel work.” 

The art of enamelling is believed to have been brought to India from Persia and most enamellers were members of the Sikh religion. The enamellers, or minakars, worked in their own homes, assisted by members of their family and normally did not deal with the public directly but worked as sub-contractors to the trade. They were commissioned by jewellers, goldsmiths and silversmiths who kept paper patterns of enamel designs to show to their customers. When the customer had selected the enamel design and placed his order, the silversmith made the object and his chaser would chase the surface of the object with the design, hollowing out depressions around it to accept the enamel and hatching the depressions to aid the bonding process. This type of enamelling is described as basse taille enamel.

Once the chasing had been completed, the object was sent out to the enameller. The enameller would grind down vitreous material so that it was ready for use as a paste. Enamelling on silver was much harder and more likely to fail than enamelling on gold or copper because it was much harder to fix the enamel onto the silver and some enamellers refused to work with silver. The enamelling process was lengthy and very complex, requiring many different stages of cleaning with acid, firing and burnishing. The objects were placed on pieces of talc before firing in clay ovens.  As different colours of enamel require different firing temperatures, a strict order of application was necessary. If the firing was not successful it would be redone until it was perfect.

Dimensions:-  Height 10.5 cms; Width 8.5 cms

Weight:-          174 grammes

Provenance:-  UK art market

References:-

Rita Devi Sharma and M Varadarajan, Handcrafted Indian Enamel Jewellery, Roli Books, India, Singapore 2004

Mark Zebrowski, Gold, Silver & Bronze from Mughal India, Alexandra Press in association with Laurence King, London 1997

H Hendley, Journal of Indian Art, Issue 2, Volume 1, W Griggs, London 1886

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