This is the first child’s toy that is the work of a Kutch silversmith that we have seen. It is a combined whistle and rattle – both of which still work well.
The toy comprises a bulbous mid-section chased with typically Kutch floral scrollwork. The body contains the beads or stones that give the sound to the rattle.
At one end is a tiger’s head which has a large silver ring in its mouth. The ring would have allowed the toy to be secured – perhaps to the child’s pram.
The other end is decorated with a well-rendered antelope’s head with two fine horns that taper back to the body of the toy. This end is the whistle for which air is blown into the antelope’s mouth and it then escapes from an aperture cut into the antelope’s throat.
The item is in excellent condition.
Dehejia, V., Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj, Mapin, 2008.
Terlinden, C., Mughal Silver Magnificence, Antalga, 1987.
Wilkinson, W.R.T., Indian Silver 1858-1947, 1999.