Unusual ‘Owl’ Silver Jug by Mawji Raghavji
height: 12cm, weight: 362g
This wonderful, well-proportioned and amusing silver jug is elaborately and finely chased all over in the Cutch manner. Several species of bird, including an owl who peers from the side of the jug directly out to the viewer, and other animals including a horse, a hound and a tiger sit amongst the foliage, all against a finely tooled background.
The handle comprises a cast lizard arching his back and chased with spots. The front of the jug, beneath the spout, has been cast and chased with an extraordinary owl’s face, the beak jutting out beyond the lip of the spout – an amusing and whimsical addition.
The base is stamped in intaglio with ‘MR’ and ‘BHUJ’. This is the maker’s mark for Mawji Raghavji, a contemporary of the well known (and far more prolific) but not necessarily better Cutch silversmith Oomersi Mawji. The quality of the workmanship on this jug demonstrates Mawji Raghavji to be an equal of Ommersi Mawji.
Dehejia, V., Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj, Mapin, 2008.
Indian Colonial Silver: European Silversmiths in India (1790-1860) and their Marks, Argent Press, 1973.
UK art market
Inventory no.: 1307