Repoussed Silver Bowl & Wooden Stand
height: of bowl: 15.6cm, diameter of bowl: 28cm, weight of bowl: 1187g
height of stand: 13cm
This good-sized silver bowl is finely and densely repoussed most probably with scenes from a traditional Burmese folk story in which the presence of deers is a central theme.
Each panel is separated by a cartouche depicting the head and shoulders of a deer as well as typically Burmese foliage scrollwork.
The lower border has a broad and luxuriant up-turned lotus petal design (
kya-hlan). The upper border features a scrolling orchid motif (dha-zin-gwei).The base is engraved with the signatures of both Western and Burmese names suggesting that this bowl was commissioned as a gift or presentation piece.
In any event, bowls such as these had no ceremonial or religious use; they are purely decorative. Their shape supposedly is based on Burmese monks’ begging or alms bowls (one of the eight
parikkharas or possessions allowed a monk). In turn, such bowls are based on a bowl that the Buddha himself is said to have used.
This bowl is without repairs, splits or dents. It was sourced from within the UK and almost certainly has been in the UK since colonial times.
It is accompanied by a traditional Burmese carved wooden bowl stand. The stand has a small bone plaque stating that it has come from ‘The Sun Company’ at Scott Market in Rangoon. Scott Market was the main bazaar in central Rangoon during the colonial era at which all manner of Burmese products and crafts could be obtained. The stand has a shrinkage-related crack and loss to one side (visible in the images below). The bowl and stand look particularly pleasing together.
UK art market
Fraser-Lu, S., Burmese Crafts: Past and Present, Oxford University Press, 1994.
Inventory no.: 1171
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