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{"id":5592273453206,"title":"Antique Mughal Parcel-gilt Silver Enamelled (minakari) Jug (chuski), Mughal India – Late 18th Century","handle":"antique-mughal-parcel-gilt-silver-enamelled-minakari-jug-chuski-mughal-india-late-18th-century","description":"\u003cp\u003eThis silver gilt and enamelled chuski is of bulbous form, standing on a plain flared silver gilt foot and covered by a hinged domed lid with lotus bud finial. The spout is high, arching and tapering. The form of the jug and the ornamentation are both typical of the mughal period. The vessel is of high quality and has been skilfully crafted. The ornamentation is well designed; balanced, thoughtful, rhythmic, complex and executed with great finesse.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe body, lid and spout are enamelled in baisse-taille (from the French meaning low-engraving) technique in green and blue transparent enamels with restrained and judicious use of yellow opaque enamel for contrasting accents. The silver is gilded in part. Baisse-taille enamelling creates tonal variation and a depth of field within the enamelled areas of the repeating designs, stimulating visual interest and holding the viewer’s attention. The illusion causes the ewer to appear more three dimensional than is actually the case. (Some of the photographs clearly demonstrate this effect.)\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe vessel is covered by a hinged and domed lid, with shallow flared rim, topped by a stylised lotus bud knob. The knob is enamelled in green, with blue enamel and yellow accents around its base. The dome has a green enamel background overlaid with blue enamel lozenges containing stylised plant motifs. A repeating gilt tongue motif runs around the edge of the lid.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe body has been decorated in bands with a diaper pattern of stylised flowers on green enamel to the upper part, harmonising with the decoration and green enamel ground of the upper spout. The frames of the diapers are composed of halved acanthus leaves, a device which was a recurring feature of mughal design. A band of blue enamel with scrolling decoration runs around the body, just above its junction with the spout. To the widest part of the body, there is a wide band of green enamel containing quatrefoils of blue enamel with stylised plants, with a similar blue quatrefoil adorning the front of the spout at its base. Another blue enamel band occurs below, followed by a narrow repeating tongue border just above the foot, echoing the edge of the lid.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThese vessels are frequently depicted in paintings from the Mughal period and were made to contain alcohol, normally arak, or opium water, which were widely used as intoxicants, particularly within the courts and noble houses. It is well documented that the Mughal Emperor, Jahangir (1569 -1627), was addicted to opiates and alcohol, against the teachings of the Islamic faith.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe art of enamelling is believed to have been brought to India from Persia and most of the enamellers were members of the Sikh religion. The enamellers, or minakars, worked in their own homes, assisted by members of their family, they 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 ordered an item and selected the enamel design, the silver or goldsmith made the object and his chaser would chase the surface of the object with the design and hollow out depressions around it, to accept the enamel, a lengthy and painstaking process.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe chaser hatched the depressions or pits to aid the bonding process and the hatching also maximised the interplay of light within the coloured areas when transparent enamels were used. Varying depths within the depressions created variations in tone; the colour in the deeper areas, holding a thicker layer of enamel, appearing darker than in the shallow parts where the enamel layer was not only thinner but also reflected the underlying silver to a greater extent. This tonal variation enhanced the final appearance of the object, adding depth and creating a three dimensional illusion. This type of enamelling is described as baisse-taille enamel.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWhen the chasing had finally been completed, the object was sent out to the enameller. The enamellers did not manufacture the actual vitreous material they used for enamelling themselves but bought it in, normally from Lahore. The enameller would grind this material down 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 silver and some enamellers refused to work with silver. Whilst all known colours could be applied to gold, only black, green, blue, dark yellow, orange, pink and salmon could be applied to silver, or at least up until the early twentieth century.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe enamelling process was lengthy and very complex, requiring many different stages of cleaning with acid, firing and burnishing. The objects were fired in clay ovens and were placed on pieces of talc during firing. Different colours of enamel required different firing temperatures, necessitating a strict order of application. If one firing was not successful it would be redone until it was perfect. Reportedly, some elaborate pieces required as many as eighteen separate firings with cleaning and polishing between each.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHendley states that there were thirteen principal enamelling centres and four of these were notable for producing fine blue and green enamels on silver gilt; Lucknow, Bahawalpur, Kangra and Kulu. It is extremely likely that this chuski was manufactured in one of those places.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eProvenance\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e:    European art market\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eSize\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e:                     Height 12 cms, width 11 cms (max)\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eWeight\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e:              308 grammes\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eReferences\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e:\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, London1886\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eC Terlinden, Mughal Silver Magnificence (XVI-XIX C.), Antalga (Bruxelles), 1987\u003c\/p\u003e","published_at":"2020-08-09T21:53:29+01:00","created_at":"2020-08-09T21:53:28+01:00","vendor":"Joseph Cohen Antiques","type":"Enamelled Jug","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":35688491614358,"title":"Default Title","option1":"Default Title","option2":null,"option3":null,"sku":"","requires_shipping":true,"taxable":true,"featured_image":null,"available":false,"name":"Antique Mughal Parcel-gilt Silver Enamelled (minakari) Jug (chuski), Mughal India – Late 18th Century","public_title":null,"options":["Default Title"],"price":0,"weight":0,"compare_at_price":null,"inventory_management":"shopify","barcode":""}],"images":["\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/JW2_DSC_5815-Edit.jpg?v=1597006409","\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/7YWD_DSC_5827.jpg?v=1597006410","\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/SVVK_DSC_5802-Edit.jpg?v=1597006410","\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/SGF2K_DSC_5795-Edit.jpg?v=1597006410"],"featured_image":"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/JW2_DSC_5815-Edit.jpg?v=1597006409","options":["Title"],"media":[{"alt":null,"id":10620365996182,"position":1,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"width":768,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/JW2_DSC_5815-Edit.jpg?v=1597006409"},"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"media_type":"image","src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/JW2_DSC_5815-Edit.jpg?v=1597006409","width":768},{"alt":null,"id":10620366061718,"position":2,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"width":768,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/7YWD_DSC_5827.jpg?v=1597006410"},"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"media_type":"image","src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/7YWD_DSC_5827.jpg?v=1597006410","width":768},{"alt":null,"id":10620366094486,"position":3,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"width":768,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/SVVK_DSC_5802-Edit.jpg?v=1597006410"},"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"media_type":"image","src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/SVVK_DSC_5802-Edit.jpg?v=1597006410","width":768},{"alt":null,"id":10620366127254,"position":4,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"width":768,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/SGF2K_DSC_5795-Edit.jpg?v=1597006410"},"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"media_type":"image","src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/SGF2K_DSC_5795-Edit.jpg?v=1597006410","width":768}],"content":"\u003cp\u003eThis silver gilt and enamelled chuski is of bulbous form, standing on a plain flared silver gilt foot and covered by a hinged domed lid with lotus bud finial. The spout is high, arching and tapering. The form of the jug and the ornamentation are both typical of the mughal period. The vessel is of high quality and has been skilfully crafted. The ornamentation is well designed; balanced, thoughtful, rhythmic, complex and executed with great finesse.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe body, lid and spout are enamelled in baisse-taille (from the French meaning low-engraving) technique in green and blue transparent enamels with restrained and judicious use of yellow opaque enamel for contrasting accents. The silver is gilded in part. Baisse-taille enamelling creates tonal variation and a depth of field within the enamelled areas of the repeating designs, stimulating visual interest and holding the viewer’s attention. The illusion causes the ewer to appear more three dimensional than is actually the case. (Some of the photographs clearly demonstrate this effect.)\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe vessel is covered by a hinged and domed lid, with shallow flared rim, topped by a stylised lotus bud knob. The knob is enamelled in green, with blue enamel and yellow accents around its base. The dome has a green enamel background overlaid with blue enamel lozenges containing stylised plant motifs. A repeating gilt tongue motif runs around the edge of the lid.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe body has been decorated in bands with a diaper pattern of stylised flowers on green enamel to the upper part, harmonising with the decoration and green enamel ground of the upper spout. The frames of the diapers are composed of halved acanthus leaves, a device which was a recurring feature of mughal design. A band of blue enamel with scrolling decoration runs around the body, just above its junction with the spout. To the widest part of the body, there is a wide band of green enamel containing quatrefoils of blue enamel with stylised plants, with a similar blue quatrefoil adorning the front of the spout at its base. Another blue enamel band occurs below, followed by a narrow repeating tongue border just above the foot, echoing the edge of the lid.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThese vessels are frequently depicted in paintings from the Mughal period and were made to contain alcohol, normally arak, or opium water, which were widely used as intoxicants, particularly within the courts and noble houses. It is well documented that the Mughal Emperor, Jahangir (1569 -1627), was addicted to opiates and alcohol, against the teachings of the Islamic faith.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe art of enamelling is believed to have been brought to India from Persia and most of the enamellers were members of the Sikh religion. The enamellers, or minakars, worked in their own homes, assisted by members of their family, they 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 ordered an item and selected the enamel design, the silver or goldsmith made the object and his chaser would chase the surface of the object with the design and hollow out depressions around it, to accept the enamel, a lengthy and painstaking process.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe chaser hatched the depressions or pits to aid the bonding process and the hatching also maximised the interplay of light within the coloured areas when transparent enamels were used. Varying depths within the depressions created variations in tone; the colour in the deeper areas, holding a thicker layer of enamel, appearing darker than in the shallow parts where the enamel layer was not only thinner but also reflected the underlying silver to a greater extent. This tonal variation enhanced the final appearance of the object, adding depth and creating a three dimensional illusion. This type of enamelling is described as baisse-taille enamel.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWhen the chasing had finally been completed, the object was sent out to the enameller. The enamellers did not manufacture the actual vitreous material they used for enamelling themselves but bought it in, normally from Lahore. The enameller would grind this material down 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 silver and some enamellers refused to work with silver. Whilst all known colours could be applied to gold, only black, green, blue, dark yellow, orange, pink and salmon could be applied to silver, or at least up until the early twentieth century.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe enamelling process was lengthy and very complex, requiring many different stages of cleaning with acid, firing and burnishing. The objects were fired in clay ovens and were placed on pieces of talc during firing. Different colours of enamel required different firing temperatures, necessitating a strict order of application. If one firing was not successful it would be redone until it was perfect. Reportedly, some elaborate pieces required as many as eighteen separate firings with cleaning and polishing between each.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHendley states that there were thirteen principal enamelling centres and four of these were notable for producing fine blue and green enamels on silver gilt; Lucknow, Bahawalpur, Kangra and Kulu. It is extremely likely that this chuski was manufactured in one of those places.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eProvenance\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e:    European art market\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eSize\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e:                     Height 12 cms, width 11 cms (max)\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eWeight\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e:              308 grammes\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eReferences\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e:\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, London1886\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eC Terlinden, Mughal Silver Magnificence (XVI-XIX C.), Antalga (Bruxelles), 1987\u003c\/p\u003e"}

Antique Mughal Parcel-gilt Silver Enamelled (minakari) Jug (chuski), Mughal India – Late 18th Century

Product Description

This silver gilt and enamelled chuski is of bulbous form, standing on a plain flared silver gilt foot and covered by a hinged domed lid with lotus bud finial. The spout is high, arching and tapering. The form of the jug and the ornamentation are both typical of the mughal period. The vessel is of high quality and has been skilfully crafted. The ornamentation is well designed; balanced, thoughtful, rhythmic, complex and executed with great finesse.

The body, lid and spout are enamelled in baisse-taille (from the French meaning low-engraving) technique in green and blue transparent enamels with restrained and judicious use of yellow opaque enamel for contrasting accents. The silver is gilded in part. Baisse-taille enamelling creates tonal variation and a depth of field within the enamelled areas of the repeating designs, stimulating visual interest and holding the viewer’s attention. The illusion causes the ewer to appear more three dimensional than is actually the case. (Some of the photographs clearly demonstrate this effect.)

The vessel is covered by a hinged and domed lid, with shallow flared rim, topped by a stylised lotus bud knob. The knob is enamelled in green, with blue enamel and yellow accents around its base. The dome has a green enamel background overlaid with blue enamel lozenges containing stylised plant motifs. A repeating gilt tongue motif runs around the edge of the lid.

The body has been decorated in bands with a diaper pattern of stylised flowers on green enamel to the upper part, harmonising with the decoration and green enamel ground of the upper spout. The frames of the diapers are composed of halved acanthus leaves, a device which was a recurring feature of mughal design. A band of blue enamel with scrolling decoration runs around the body, just above its junction with the spout. To the widest part of the body, there is a wide band of green enamel containing quatrefoils of blue enamel with stylised plants, with a similar blue quatrefoil adorning the front of the spout at its base. Another blue enamel band occurs below, followed by a narrow repeating tongue border just above the foot, echoing the edge of the lid.

These vessels are frequently depicted in paintings from the Mughal period and were made to contain alcohol, normally arak, or opium water, which were widely used as intoxicants, particularly within the courts and noble houses. It is well documented that the Mughal Emperor, Jahangir (1569 -1627), was addicted to opiates and alcohol, against the teachings of the Islamic faith.

The art of enamelling is believed to have been brought to India from Persia and most of the enamellers were members of the Sikh religion. The enamellers, or minakars, worked in their own homes, assisted by members of their family, they 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 ordered an item and selected the enamel design, the silver or goldsmith made the object and his chaser would chase the surface of the object with the design and hollow out depressions around it, to accept the enamel, a lengthy and painstaking process.

The chaser hatched the depressions or pits to aid the bonding process and the hatching also maximised the interplay of light within the coloured areas when transparent enamels were used. Varying depths within the depressions created variations in tone; the colour in the deeper areas, holding a thicker layer of enamel, appearing darker than in the shallow parts where the enamel layer was not only thinner but also reflected the underlying silver to a greater extent. This tonal variation enhanced the final appearance of the object, adding depth and creating a three dimensional illusion. This type of enamelling is described as baisse-taille enamel.

When the chasing had finally been completed, the object was sent out to the enameller. The enamellers did not manufacture the actual vitreous material they used for enamelling themselves but bought it in, normally from Lahore. The enameller would grind this material down 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 silver and some enamellers refused to work with silver. Whilst all known colours could be applied to gold, only black, green, blue, dark yellow, orange, pink and salmon could be applied to silver, or at least up until the early twentieth century.

The enamelling process was lengthy and very complex, requiring many different stages of cleaning with acid, firing and burnishing. The objects were fired in clay ovens and were placed on pieces of talc during firing. Different colours of enamel required different firing temperatures, necessitating a strict order of application. If one firing was not successful it would be redone until it was perfect. Reportedly, some elaborate pieces required as many as eighteen separate firings with cleaning and polishing between each.

Hendley states that there were thirteen principal enamelling centres and four of these were notable for producing fine blue and green enamels on silver gilt; Lucknow, Bahawalpur, Kangra and Kulu. It is extremely likely that this chuski was manufactured in one of those places.

Provenance:    European art market

Size:                     Height 12 cms, width 11 cms (max)

Weight:              308 grammes

References:

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, London1886

C Terlinden, Mughal Silver Magnificence (XVI-XIX C.), Antalga (Bruxelles), 1987

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