Superb Copper Teapot with Silver & Gilded Brass Mounts & Turquoise
late 19th century
length: 30cm, weight: 2,022g
This very fine and intricate teapot or ewer is from Nepal and dates to around or before 1880. Most likely of Newar craftsmanship, most probably it was intended for the Tibetan market. An engraving of an almost identical teapot is published in Birdwood (1880, plate 29).
The teapot comprises a heavy, spherical copper body to which four parcel-gilt silver plaques repoussed with garudas and dragons have been fixed. The gilded (gold-plated) flared copper foot, is chased with Himalayan scrolling and fixed with ‘flaming’ silver plaques.
The faceted copper spout emerged from a gilded
makara head with silver embellishments and turquoise cabochons. The end of the spout is wrapped in silver sheet that has been engraved and which is topped by a turquoise cabochon in a pearled silver wire box setting.
The shoulder of the base is of chased, gilded copper, set with ten turquoise cabochons and silver plaques. Above this is a gilded, chased collar set with a fine and dense row of
lantsa script, all in silver.
The high-domed lid is set with a fine, chased, bud-like silver finial, with gilded, chased borders set with pearled silver wire and turquoise cabochons.
The handle is in the form of a gilded Himalayan feline creature with silver mounts and turquoise cabochons for eyes. A gilded chain connects its mouth with the lid.
The item is in very fine condition with no losses and only minor scuffing here and there. It sits in a flat, even and stable manner. The lid fits tightly. At more than two kilograms, it is also surprisingly heavy in the hand.
Birdwood, G., The Industrial Arts of India, 1880.Provenance:
UK art market
Inventory no.: 3022
Plate 29 from Birdwood (1880) showing an engraving of a teapot that is almost identical to the example here.