Chased Silver Tray, signed ‘MM’
diameter: 36.6cm, weight: 1.15kg
This circular tray from Cutch, probably Bhuj, dates to the late nineteenth century and is signed ‘MM’ on the reverse. This maker has not yet been adequately identified in the literature but was a contemporary of Oomersi Mawji, the most well-known Cutch silversmith of the time. Wilkinson (1999, p. 70) comments of the maker ‘MM’, ‘his very good work usually features various species of bird among foliage.’
This tray, which sits on three low feet that themselves are decorated with floral patterns, is densely chased with fine scrolling vegetal and floral motifs, so typical of Cutch work, and is of superior quality. Amid all the scrollwork are a variety of birds – parrots and egrets but unusually also an owl, with his wings stretched out, just beneath the central armorial cartouche.
The rim has thick, scalloped edging, chiselled with further floral and leaf motifs.
Overall, this is a very fine tray. It has excellent weight; it is unexpectedly heavy in the hand.
This actual piece is illustrated in Wilkinson, W.R.T., Indian Silver 1858-1947, 1999, page 89, image no. 130.
Inventory no.: 880
Maker’s mark on the reverse.