Inventory no.: 3802

Burmese Silver Bowl


Repoussed Silver Bowl


circa 1880

diameter: 20cm, height: 11.5cm, weight: 613g

This silver bowl is repoussed with scenes from a Burmese legend. The design is noticeably ‘curly’ with scrolling, lace-like foliage seemingly draped everywhere. The scenes include numerous figures in courtly Burmese dress inckuding one where what appears to be a child is about to be attacked with a dagger or sword.

The upper border comprises a scrolling orchid design known as the

dha-zin-gwei motif. The lower border comprises a wide band of flame-like foliage motifs.

The base is hammered but plain.

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 fine condition.


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.: 3802