4240

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Chased Silver Lidded Box with Gujarati Inscription

India
18th-19th century

length: 11.9cm, height: 6cm, width: 8.5cm, weight: 332g

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Provenance

UK art market

This fine, lidded box is of high-grade and most probably pure silver (in which case it is more pure than sterling silver).

The dimensions are those of a Mughal or northern Indian perfume box.

The lid is slightly domed and has a wonderful border of Scottish thistle motifs. The central rectangle i s plain other than for an inscription in Gujarati. One translation for the script is: ‘Sun Gaad Parini Shrington K.C.V Keshi M G Stock’ which appears to be a personal name along with some honorifics.

All the other sides have plain rectangular fields surrounded by Mughal-inspired floral and foliate borders.

The thistle motif on the lid probably has a direct relationship with the Scottish thistle. Other 19th century items produced in India had this motif, including silver items made in Lucknow – and many Scots served in the colonial administration in India.

There are no makers or assay marks. The box is in excellent condition with a fine, waxy patina associated with pure silver.

References

Markel, S. et al, India’s Fabled City: The Art of Courtly Lucknow, LACMA/DelMonico Books, 2010.

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