Large & Exceptionally Fine Chased Silver Tray (Thali)
diameter: 31.5cm, weight: 570g
This impressive and large shallow tray or thali is of hammered silver that has been superbly chased with floral and geometric designs. The outer rim is decorated with a fine band of petal-like gadrooning and an outer border of chased scrolling flowering vine motifs and finally with a fine pearled edge. A central rosette is filled with intricate floral and leaf work. This is surrounded by a border of fine overlapping flower work. An outer border repeats this overlapping floral work.
The workmanship shown in this piece is among the highest quality of eighteenth century Deccani silverwork.
A smaller silver tray but with similar chasing is illustrated in Zebrowski (1997, p. 44). A silver hookah base attributed to late seventeenth century Deccan that has bands of similar chased floral motifs is illustrated in Zebrowski (p. 46).
A similar smaller tray with later added English silver mounts and later English gilding was offered as lot 254 in Christie’s ‘Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds’, October 6, 2009. A slightly larger example with different work but of a comparable standard comprised lot 132 of Sotheby’s, Arts of the Islamic World’, October 13, 2004.
Several silver trays in this style were exhibited in the Loan Collection Gallery of the 1902-03 Delhi Exhibition. Items to this Gallery were lent by museums and also by various maharajas from their heirloom collections.
Overall, this is a large and superb Deccani
thali of a size and quality rarely encountered.
UK art market
Watt, G., Indian Art at Delhi 1903, Being the Official Catalogue of the Delhi Exhibition, 1902-1903, Superintendent of Government Printing, India, 1903; Terlinden, C., Mughal Silver Magnificence, Antalga, 1987; and Zebrowski, M., Gold, Silver & Bronze from Mughal India, Alexandria Press, 1997.
Inventory no.: 1134
to see a related but smaller example.
The reverse of the tray.