Inventory no.: 3717

Burmese Silver Bowl


Fine, Repoussed Silver Bowl


circa 1880

height: 10.2cm, diameter: 16.2cm, weight: 469g

This silver bowl is repoussed with scenes from a Burmese legend all amid intricate, lace-like foliage and floral scrollwork interspersed with peacock motifs.

The upper register is decorated with a band of scrollwork with flowers, in relief. This is probably the

dha-zin-gwei, stylised orchid motif.

The lower register is decorated with a wide, unusual border that follows the intricate, lace-like theme.

The base is plain and unmarked.

The shape of such bowls is based on the monk’s begging bowl, although ironically, Burmese monks are prohibited from touching gold or silver. Accordingly, Burmese silversmiths did not use their skills to produce religious objects, unlike silversmiths in other Buddhist lands such as Tibet or Sri Lanka, and instead were employed producing items for the colonial market and also for wealthy local Burmese.

The bowl is in excellent condition and is without dents, losses or repairs. It has a good weight in the hand.


Fraser-Lu, S., Silverware of South-East Asia, Oxford University Press, 1989.

Fraser-Lu, S.,

Burmese Crafts: Past and Present, Oxford University Press, 1994.

Tilly, H.L.,

The Silverwork of Burma (with Photographs by P. Klier), The Superintendent, Government Printing, 1902.

Tilly, H.L.,

Modern Burmese Silverwork (with Photographs by P. Klier), The Superintendent, Government Printing, 1904.


UK art market

Inventory no.: 3717