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Bowl

  • Place of origin:

    Lucknow (made)

  • Date:

    17th century (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Nephrite jade, fashioned, engraved and polished using abrasives, with much of the process requiring turning on a bow-driven lathe.

  • Museum number:

    908-1873

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This nephrite jade bowl has been finely crafted with good proportions and an even, thin wall. Although nephrite is a tough and durable material, when it is worked to a fine edge or thickness it is vulnerable to damage when subjected to stress or impact. A bowl of this quality would have been made for a wealthy and discerning person.

Physical description

A circular bowl fashioned in very pale green nephrite jade and polished all over. The interior is smooth and the exterior is gently ribbed with two pairs of lines that rise from the foot and which curve outwards markedly as they near the rim, resembling an open flower. The bowl sits on a short foot with rim and the recess has been lightly carved and engraved with numerous radiating lines surrounding a small, raised, octagonal motif at the centre.

Place of Origin

Lucknow (made)

Date

17th century (made)

Materials and Techniques

Nephrite jade, fashioned, engraved and polished using abrasives, with much of the process requiring turning on a bow-driven lathe.

Dimensions

Diameter: 120.9 to 121.5 mm 908-1873, Height: 42.9 to 43.8 mm 908-1873, Depth: 39.5 mm 908-1873 +/- 0.3, Thickness: 1.4 to 1.7 mm 908-1873, Diameter: 65.6 to 66.1 mm 908-1873, Depth: 0.8 mm 908-1873

Object history note

This bowl was acquired by William Tayler during his time in India (1829-1867). He subsequently sold it to the South Kensington Museum (later renamed the Victoria & Albert Museum) in 1874 for the sum of £15-0-0.

William Tayler was educated in England at Charterhouse and also spent a term at Christ Church, Oxford. He entered service with the East India Company on 30th April 1829, arriving in India in October of the same year. He held various posts in Bengal and was appointed Commissioner of Patna in 1855. During his service, he was able to acquire many objects, including hardstones, relating to the customs and religions of India as well as objects from other parts of South Asia.
He was criticised for his handling of the uprisings in Northern India and was moved to a lesser post before being suspended, ultimately resigning on 29th March 1859. He then practised as an advocate in the law courts of Bengal before returning to England in 1867.
He wrote a book about his experiences, entitled Thirty-eight Years in India, in which he states that "After my return to England, circumstances induced me, though with great reluctance, to part with the collection which is now in the South Kensington Museum".

Descriptive line

Bowl, very pale green nephrite jade, gently ribbed exterior resembling an open flower, radiating engraved lines in foot recess, Lucknow, 17th century

Materials

Nephrite

Categories

Food vessels & Tableware; Gemstones; Hardstone

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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