Lot 14
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634.4 grams (gross)
Water bottle: 9 in (22.9 cm) high
Beaker: 2.5 in (6.4 cm) high

The flask is finely crafted with a spherical body, a tapering neck and stopper surmounted by a bud finial. A silver chain attaches the stopper to the body. The stopper neck and body are chased all over with an exquisite shawl pattern also seen on the beaker.

Like all artisans immersed in their culture, Kashmiri silversmiths were inspired by the beauty of their physical and natural environment. Kashmir silver can be identified by arabesque engraving patterns and use of filigree work. Chinar, poppy and coriander plants, abundant in Kashmir, are seen on most silverware. The Chinar, with leaves attached to twigs or branches, sometimes accompanied by the fruit, is one of the most elegant patterns to be adapted from nature into Kashmiri silver design.
The paisley, also called the "shawl" pattern is the most commonly used motif in Kashmiri silver, and can be traced back to Persian and Mughal art. It is integrated with cones and rosettes into intricate arabesque detailing. Enamelling, a tradition handed down from the Mughals is a typical manufacturing technique, and often features bright colours to simulate the look of precious and semi-precious stones.
Tea-sets, cruets and sugar basins made in Kashmir are often shaped like the traditional kangri, used to keep people warm in winter. Dishes and bowls adapting the form of the kashkul or begging bowl used by dervishes, are easily identifiable. Filigree and pierced work is often seen on the rim or foot of a vessel.
Unlike Kutch silver, which enjoyed the patronage of the Maharaos, Kashmiri silversmiths received little or no support from local rulers. The only exception was a handful of wealthy merchants with large retail showrooms in Srinagar who ensured a presence for their craftsmen in international exhibitions in India and Europe. Companies such as Hamilton & Co. offered a variety of silver pieces to enthusiastic niche base of customers In Britain, these designs were so popular that firms such as Elkington & Co. produced a range of ten different types of Kashmiri silverware, many of which were copied locally.

  Lot 14 of 105  

10-11 AUGUST 2015


Silver Flask

An Important Private Collection, Ahmedabad


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