Silver & Niello Wine Ladle (Azarpeshi)
length: 32cm, weight: 270g
This fine, high-grade solid silver Caucasian niello azarpeshi ladle is of traditional form with a circular, lipped shallow bowl and a long handle with cusped terminals further decorated with a flower motif that attaches to the bowl. The handle is patterned in niello with fine leaf and scrolling foliage motifs.
The handle is stamped with a Georgian silver control mark, and the reverse of the bowl is stamped with three similar marks.
Ladles such as these were used at large Georgian feasts such as those associated with weddings to drink wine. Each drinker had a ladle and the wine was ladled from a large communal bowl or vat to the mouth.
Each festival or feast had its own fixed, communal formula. The
tamada or toast-master was the lead figure. He was required to propose toasts for all present, following strict rules of precedence. He also announced when there would be music, singing and dancing. The tamada was usually elected from among the most eloquent present.
Similar ladles are illustrated in
The Caucasian Peoples (2001, p. 161).
This example is in excellent condition without losses or repairs.
The Caucasian Peoples, catalogue for an exhibition of the Russian Ethnographic Museum, Hessenhuis, Antwerp, Belgium, 2001.
UK art market
Inventory no.: 1736