This very fine colonial Indian silver ceremonial trowel is chased and engraved finely with Kutch floral motifs. The handle is beautifully decorated with Kutch floral and leaf scrollwork against a tooled background.
The trowel is engraved with the following:
‘Presented by Rao Bahadoor Sett Becherdass Ambaidass to A. A. Borradaile Esq., on the occasion of his laying the foundation stone of the Mahaluxmee Female Training College at Ahmedabad on 22 August 1874’.
‘Rao Bahadur’ (or ‘Bahadoor’) was a title of honour issued in India during British rule to Hindu and Christian Indians who had performed great service to the nation.
The trowel is in excellent condition. Used originally for the ceremonial laying of a foundation stone, today it makes an excellent collector’s piece or an elegant cake server.
Dehejia, V., Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj, Mapin, 2008.