Large Mughal Dish in Heavy Gauge Silver (thali)
diameter: 30.2cm; height: 4cm
weight: 900g (1 pound & 15 5/8 ounces)
This surprisingly heavy thali (it weighs almost one kilogram) has been hammered and chased in the Islamic style typical of 18th and 19th northern India. This piece almost certainly has come from a dinner service of one of the Mughal courts. The high rim has been hammered with an unusual double honeycomb pattern. The central medallion has the form of an elaborate, stylised lotus, and is surrounded by a band of raised flutes.
A small inscription has been added to the outside rim of the bowl. The Hindi inscription in Devanagari script reads ‘Nayna Ingle’ and it is dated 19-2-82. The ’82’ refers to 1882 and the name is that of a woman of Maharashtran origin. Probably this is an ownership mark added later or when the item was given as a gift (perhaps in connection with a wedding) or inherited.
Thalis such as these were used at elaborate banquets.
See Terlinden C., Mughal Silver Magnificence (XVI-XIXth C), Antalga, 1987 for related thali trays.
Inventory no.: 604