Teapot thumbnail 1
Teapot thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
South Asia, Room 41

Teapot

ca. 1880 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This teapot is part of a set made in India between about 1880 and 1890, and was acquired with its matching sugar bowl and creamer. All are stamped "OM", and are the work of the renowned Oomersi Mawji, Court Silversmith to the ruler of Kutch, Maharao Shri Mirza Raja Sawai Khengarji Bahadurno. Kutch, now in the state of Gujarat in Western India, was a major centre for the production of silverwares in the 19th century, and supplied a huge domestic and foreign market. Kutch silver was found at all the major national and international exhibitions and was sold by Liberty's in their Regent Street, London, store as well as being advertised in their catalogues. Little of this vast output was marked, and few pieces remotely approached the quality of the work of Oomersi Mawji. He and his sons added their own highly distinctive designs of animals, flowers and, occasionally, human figures, to the densely scrolling foliate that was otherwise typical of the region.

Kutch silver was always decorated from the outside, after the piece had been made to the required shape and filled with a mixture of black wax and resin. This mixture absorbed the shock of the hammers and punches used to form the patterns, and was easily removed by heating to melting point when the design was finished, allowing the inside to be smoothed. The outside was then cleaned, and the decorative details burnished.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Raised silver with decoration punched and hammered then burnished; finial, legs and handle cast silver
Brief Description
Silver teapot by Oomersi Mawji, Bhuj, Indian, ca. 1880
Physical Description
The teapot has a spherical body heavily decorated in repousse, and circular hinged lid with an applied knop in the form of a cone on a scrolling base. It has four legs, each with a scrolled foot. On one side, a man on a horse spears a boar; on the other, two bears (?) attack a horse whose rider has fallen to the ground and defends himself with a dagger. The densely decorated ground is filled with scrolling ornament bearing leaves and flowers, with birds, a lion and a boar also within the foliage. The handle is set with two bone rings.
Dimensions
  • Diameter: 13.6cm
  • To top of handle (max. height). height: 16.5cm
Object history
The set cost £3750.00.
Summary
This teapot is part of a set made in India between about 1880 and 1890, and was acquired with its matching sugar bowl and creamer. All are stamped "OM", and are the work of the renowned Oomersi Mawji, Court Silversmith to the ruler of Kutch, Maharao Shri Mirza Raja Sawai Khengarji Bahadurno. Kutch, now in the state of Gujarat in Western India, was a major centre for the production of silverwares in the 19th century, and supplied a huge domestic and foreign market. Kutch silver was found at all the major national and international exhibitions and was sold by Liberty's in their Regent Street, London, store as well as being advertised in their catalogues. Little of this vast output was marked, and few pieces remotely approached the quality of the work of Oomersi Mawji. He and his sons added their own highly distinctive designs of animals, flowers and, occasionally, human figures, to the densely scrolling foliate that was otherwise typical of the region.



Kutch silver was always decorated from the outside, after the piece had been made to the required shape and filled with a mixture of black wax and resin. This mixture absorbed the shock of the hammers and punches used to form the patterns, and was easily removed by heating to melting point when the design was finished, allowing the inside to be smoothed. The outside was then cleaned, and the decorative details burnished.
Associated Objects
Bibliographic Reference
Jackson, Anna and Ji Wei (eds.) with Rosemary Crill, Ainsley M. Cameron and Nicholas Barnard, compiled by the Palace Museum, translated by Yuan Hong, Qi Yue and Liu Ran. The Splendour of India' Royal Courts : Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Beijing: the Forbidden City Publishing House, 2013. Text in English and Chinese. ISBN 9787513403917.pps. 254-256
Collection
Accession Number
IS.162-2007

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record createdOctober 24, 2007
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