The bowl with tapering sides is repoussed and chased in very high relief with scenes of Indian rulers and courtiers all in traditional garb and beneath luxuriant trees and shrubbery. Included is a building that is a mixture of European and Mughal-like elements. This is all within wide leafy borders.
The base is extravagantly engraved with a large flower motif around a roundel decorated with a pair of storks.
The form and work is typical of the Lucknow silverwork of the early 20th century which by then had become more hybridised, drawing on the traditions of elsewhere in India and also Burma.
Partly this was the result of the trade in goods whereby the silverwork from elsewhere travelled so that local silversmiths could see and be influenced by the work of others, but also because of the large art and craft shows the British colonial administrators were organising allowing artisans to see the work of others, and also the movement of itinerant silversmiths from one locality to another no doubt encouraged by the newly developed and extensive railway system that the British had built.
The bowl is unexpectedly heavy for its size, at more than 1.5 kilograms. It is of high-grade silver, and is in excellent condition.
Dehejia, V., Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj, Mapin, 2008.
Wilkinson, W.R.T., Indian Silver 1858-1947, 1999.