Repoussed High-grade Silver Bowl (Thabeik)
diameter: 18cm, height: 11.5cm, weight: 540g
This particularly fine repoussed bowl is of noticeably high-grade silver. The shape is unusual and may suggest Pegu rather than Rangoon or Mandalay origins. The central panel shows a variety of figures in traditional Burmese dress. Moist probably, the imagery draws on traditional Burmese folk lore. The figures are against a very fine, tooled ground – also unusual among Burmese silver bowls of the period.
The lower frieze is of a particularly finely rendered and elaborate repeated leaf motif. The upper frieze is unusual in that it is not contained within a straight border but has a lower scalloped border. It features fine, scrolling foliage.
The base is engraved within a Burmese
chinthei lion figure within a roundel. Some claim that such designs engraved to the bases of bowls are ‘signatures’ of the maker. It is possible that they might also be purely decorative.
Fraser-Lu, S., Silverware of South-East Asia, Oxford University Press, 1989.
Burmese Crafts: Past and Present, Oxford University Press, 1994.
The Silverwork of Burma (with Photographs by P. Klier), The Superintendent, Government Printing, 1902.
Modern Burmese Silverwork (with Photographs by P. Klier), The Superintendent, Government Printing, 1904.
private collection, UK.
Inventory no.: 1786