Fine Silver Tea Pot by Mawji Raghavji
length: 23.5cm, weight: 803g
This exceptional teapot by the Cutch silversmith Mawji Raghavji is of well-proportioned form and is finely chased all over with typically Cutch scrolling foliage and flowers interspersed with various birds such as an ibis and a peacock; and a series of animal fight scenes such as an elephant attacking a tiger.
The spout ends in a zoomorphic pourer. The handle comprises an elaborately cast, chased and engraved lizard, which hangs grimly and with determination to the side of the teapot. The lizard includes three ivory insulators. Mounted on the hinged lid is the most extraordinarily realistic scorpion, its tail and legs raised.
The base is stamped in intaglio with ‘MR’ and ‘BHUJ’ – the maker’s mark for Mawji Raghavji. Raghavji was a contemporary of the well known (and far more prolific) but not necessarily better Cutch silversmith Oomersi Mawji. The quality of the workmanship on this jug demonstrates Mawji Raghavji to be an equal of Ommersi Mawji.
Overall, this is a superb teapot, of good weight and in excellent condition.
Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj, Mapin, 2008.
UK art market
Inventory no.: 1307