Inventory no.: 3711

Burmese Silver Handled Cup


Unusual Twin-Handle Repoussed Silver Trophy Cup


circa 1880

height: 21.5cm, width: 23cm, weight: 567g

This twin-handled footed cup is an unusual form for Burmese colonial silver. The bowl is repoussed with two large cartouches on each side with scenes of sailing boats – indigenous craft that used to ply the Irrawaddy River bringing goods – often ride and timber – between upper and lower Burma. There are two smaller cartouches – one under each handle – that show rural scenes connected with rice cultivation – harvesting and threshing. These scenes are complimentary to those of the sailing ships suggesting an overall theme of Burmese rice cultivation and trade. This is an unusual theme for Burmese silver but perhaps surprisingly so: Burma was the world’s largest exporter of rice in the first part of the twentieth century. Even today with is dysfunctional economy, it is still the world’s sixth largest rice producer.

The cup has two handles in the form of stylised lizards. A long, hour-glass stem is engraved with broad acanthus leaf patterns.

The domed foot is decorated in relief with intricate scrolling patterns interspersed with several cartouches infilled with Burmese figures.

The cup is in fine condition. Small holes drilled to the rim of the foot suggest that it originally was presented on a block of wood.


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.: 3711