8735

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    Indian Parcel-Gilt & Pierced Double-Sided Silver Travelling Shrine Case

    Northern India
    18th-19th century

    diameter: 13.2cm, depth: approximately 3cm, weight: 437g

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    Provenance

    UK art market

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    This very fine, round silver box, comprises two exterior, slightly domed covers that are pierced and parcel gilded, and an interior, double-sided tray.

    The covers are finely decorated: one with parrots and the other with peacocks, both amid flowers, within floral borders, and around a central gilded lotus flower roundel.

    It is likely that this box was used as a travelling shrine case. The decoration is Mughal-inspired and northern but could have been used by an observant Hindu or a Jain. Jains used round metal bases to hold Siddhacakra images which they would take with them when they were travelling.

    The pierced, parcel-gilt silver shows in this case is similar to the work seen on betel boxes or pandans attributed to 18th century North-Western India and Rajasthan (see Terlinden, 1987, p. 142).

    The box here is in excellent condition. The parts do not snap together tightly: probably the box would have been kept together in a textile sleeve. For display purposes, the box is best shown on a small plate stand.

    References

    van Alphen, J., Steps to Liberation: 2,500 Years of Jain Art and Religion, Ethnographic Museum Antwerp, 2000.

    Terlinden, C., Mughal Silver Magnificence, Antalga, 1987.

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