Inventory no.: 1073

Large Silver Burmese Bowl


Monumental Repoussed Silver Bowl


circa 1870

height: 22cm, diameter: 33cm

This monumentally-sized bowl is repoussed with traditional Burmese themes, including Burmese figures in traditional costume, all in high relief. The lower border shows an up-turned lotus petal design (kya-hlan). The upper border features a scrolling orchid motif (dha-zin-gwei).

The repousse work shows princely figures on horse back – possibly it shows in various battle scenes King Anawrahta, the first king of all Burma (reigned 1044-77), who introduced his people to Theravada Buddhism. His capital at Pagan (Bagan) on the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwaddy) River became a prominent city of pagodas and temples. He is often depicted in Burmese artwork on horseback.

Bowls such as these had no ceremonial or religious use; they are purely decorative. Their shape is supposedly based on Burmese monks’ begging or alms bowls (one of the eight

parikkharas or possessions allowed a monk). In turn, such bowls are based on a bowl that the Buddha himself is said to have used.

Overall, this is a good, very large bowl. It was sourced from within the UK and almost certainly has been in the UK since colonial times.


UK art market.

Inventory no.: 1073