Ref 35991
 
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Silver
c.1890

Diameter: 29 cm
Height: 7 cm (excluding handle)
Weight: 731 g

Lucknow in north-central India has been considered the cultural capital of north India for the past 250 years. The region has a long tradition of silversmithing, which used to be patronised to a great extent by the Nawabs, before the British annexed the region in 1856. A European style of silverware is one of the idiosyncratic traits of Lucknow articles; this is exampled in the many sporting trophies crafted in the regional style, some containing engraved inscriptions.

The silverware produced in Lucknow is famed for its high standard of craftsmanship, considering the finer style of the pieces which use thinner and lighter scale than elsewhere in India. Similar to the work produced in Kashmir, the pieces of Lucknow are easily identifiable due to a number of individual traits. One such attribute is the use of a 'fish' design, often as part of border ornamentation. Lucknow works also often contain a 'grape' pattern. This is similar to the Cutch scroll style, however, the trees and branches depicted sprout from the ground and cross at many points in the piece.

Lucknow silver is most commonly recognized for the style of decoration known as the 'jungle' pattern. This design features, although not to scale, forests of palm trees containing both animal and male figures. The male figure also appears in the common 'hunting' pattern, a design which depicts traditional hunting sports taking place with bold figures on elephant back pursuing wild animals. Apart from these two specific designs, the 'coriander' plant pattern is also common in Lucknow pieces.

A fanciful element of the Lucknow design is the use of serpent heads indiscriminately as the feet of standing pieces. This design attribute can often look out of place with the rest of the article's design, or may appear perfectly in keeping with the arrangement of decoration employed on the rest of the piece.




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