5893

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Tibetan Silver Tea Set

Tibet, probably Lhasa area
early 20th century

height with teacup: 20.2cm, diameter of base: 13.6cm, weight of silver: 406g

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Provenance

UK art market

This fine silver base and cover has been chased all over in high relief with Himalayan Buddhistic symbols.

The base sits on a cylindrical foot that tapers out. The dish or saucer that sits on top has a rim of eight ‘petals’.

The cover is tiered with four levels and rises to a serrated top from which a finial emerges which includes a polished translucent green stone sphere.

A ceramic cup with a crackled green glaze is included. The shape is not conventional and undoubtedly it is a subsequent inclusion – but then all the cups used be they of porcelain or jade or some other material – were made by others and added separately, because silversmiths work with silver (and sometimes gold) only; the cups were made by others.

The underside of the foot of the stem-saucer is impressed with the name ‘Yuthok’ and the letter ‘A’ also is impressed. ‘Yuthok’ is a Tibetan name and perhaps this is the maker’s or retailer’s mark.

If this is the case, then it is likely that this piece is a 20th century piece rather than being earlier, although Ghose (2016, p. 87) illustrates a similar example which is ascribed to the late 18th century.

The set here is in excellent condition.

References

Ghose, M. (ed.), Vanishing Beauty: Asian Jewelry and Ritual Objects from the Barbara and David Kipper Collection, Art Institute of Chicago, 2016.

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