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This good-sized, unusual cup or vase is from Burma. It is in ‘loving cup’ format – it comprises a large cup, two large handles, and a a wide, domed foot.
The body of the cup is finely repoussed and chased with figures in courtly Burmese dress arranged in scenes that most probably are based on Jataka stories – stories relating to the past lives of the Buddha, within scrolling, leafy borders. The foot is similarly decorated, and also has an unusual acanthus leaf and fruit border.
The manufacture of items such as this was encouraged by Burma’s colonial British rulers. They were the main commissioners of such objects and also stimulated demand with exhibitions and prizes for ‘native’ silversmiths.
The cup is in excellent condition. The features remain clear and sharp. It also sits well, without rocking.
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.