4619

Enquire about Inv No:4619

Your First Name (required)

Your Last Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Country (required)

Your Message

Pair of Enamelled Silver Peacocks

Jaipur, India
circa 1870

heights: 17.3cm, lengths: 18cm, combined weight: 1,585g

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

UK art market

This superb and realistically modelled pair of roosting peacocks is made of silver that has been chased and enamelled with multiple colours to suggest plumage and other details. The exposed silver shows traces of gilding (gold plating). The sides of each peacock are inset with large, oval, foil-backed red stone cabochons, possibly rubies or spinels.

Each sits on an up-curved silver ‘stem’ or ‘log’, which rests on an elaborate domed base that has been richly enamelled with lotus petals and other motifs a s well as having a

n exposed silver section that has been chased with vertical bands of floral work. The upper and lower edges of the bases are decorated with multiple pendant silver spheres. The bases sit on four spherical feet decorated in blue enamel.

Enamelled silverwork like this was done in Jaipur in northern India. And this pair is likely to date to around 1870.

An elaborate model of a barge in enamelled gold, silver and gems made in Jaipur and showing related work was presented to the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) on his visit to India in 1876. This and related work led Birdwood (1880, p. 166) to comment that the enamellers of Jaipur had attained a level not matched by ‘even’ the enamellers of Paris.

The bases and the bodies of the birds are fully enclosed by silver but are likely to be filled with lac. The silver used is however quite thick sheet silver.

The pair are in excellent condition. There are no losses and only minor, invisible ‘touching up’ restoration work has been carried out on the enamels to restore some minor flaking. There are no losses or repairs to the silver.

References

Birdwood, G., The Industrial Arts of India, 1880.

Meghani, K., Splendours of the Subcontinent: A Prince’s Tour of India 1875-6, Royal Collection Trust, 2017.

Sharma, R.D. & M. Varadarajan, Handcrafted Indian Enamel Jewellery, Roli Books, 2004.

Dozens of items are added to our website each month. Be among the first to know about them.
Sign up to our monthly catalogue