This intricately-decorated bowl is a fine example of the heights that Burmese silverwork reached. Its sides are decorated all over with fine open-work scrolling leaf and tendril patterns.
It has eight scalloped roundels each repoussed with two figures in Burmese courtly dress against finely tooled backgrounds also engraved with scrolling flowerwork.
The lower part of the bowl is decorated with a chased and engraved leafy frieze.
Elaborate open-work of this type is associated with a small number of silversmiths who worked at Moulmein (now called Mawlamyine and located around 300km south east of Rangoon) in Burma.
A similar bowl is illustrated in Tilly (1902) and reproduced in Fraser-Lu (1994, p. 179).
The base of the bowl is engraved with an elaborate peacock motif – possibly a maker’s pattern or perhaps simply more fine decoration to show of the silversmith’s skills.
Fraser-Lu, S., Silverware of South-East Asia, Oxford University Press, 1989.
Fraser-Lu, S., Burmese Crafts: Past and Present, Oxford University Press, 1994.
Tilly, H.L., The Silverwork of Burma (with Photographs by P. Klier), The Superintendent, Government Printing, 1902.
Tilly, H.L., Modern Burmese Silverwork (with Photographs by P. Klier), The Superintendent, Government Printing, 1904.