Footed Silver Dish with Open-work
Deccan or Bijapur, India
diameter: 18cm, height: 5cm, weight: 287g
This shallow dish stands on three solid-cast feet shaped as peacocks. The broad rim features scrolling Ottoman-inspired flower and leaf motifs, chased and with open-work. The well of the bowl is chased with a central roundel with a leafy flower design and an outer band of scrolling leaf and flower work against a ring-mat ground.
The dish was in the collection of the American designer Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932) who was best known for his designs based on the arts and crafts of the Middle East and India. He drew inspiration particularly from the work of the
mistri of Ahmedabad, India, a sub-caste of skilled wood carvers. House Beautiful described de Forest’s New York home as ‘the most Indian house in America.’ He began his professional career in partnership with Louis Comfort Tiffany another American designer who became synonymous with Art Nouveau in America, and went on to create Anglo-Indian interior designs for many of America’s wealthiest industrialists.
Overall, this is an excellent example of central Indian silver-work with a fascinating provenance.
Lockwood de Forest.
Watt, G., Indian Art at Delhi 1903, Being the Official Catalogue of the Delhi Exhibition, 1902-1903, Superintendent of Government Printing, India, 1903.
Inventory no.: 1096
Detail: Crucifix stamped to the side of the bowl.