Ewer thumbnail 1
Ewer thumbnail 2
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images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Europe 1600-1815, Room 7, The Sheikha Amna Bint Mohammed Al Thani Gallery

Ewer

early 17th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This ewer and the set it belongs to are Indian in origin. They were made in Gujarat. However, when the V&A acquired the set in 1857, curators thought these pieces were Italian. This was because the set had a European shape. Another reason was that from about 1600 to 1700 European goldsmiths deliberately copied Gujarati mother-of-pearl work for both familiar and new forms. This created problems of identification for future scholars that still exist today.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
mother-of-pearl secured with iron pins, the base mounted with a brass fillet Xray examination demonstrates that the closely similar ewers in the V&A and British Museum have no wood in their construction.
Brief Description
Ewer, mother-of-pearl sections laid over a framework of metal bands and secured with metal pins, Gujarat, early 17th century.
Physical Description
Ewer, mother-of-pearl sections laid over a framework of metal bands, and secured with iron pins. The base is mounted with a brass fillet. One of a pair.
Dimensions
  • Approx. height: 25.5cm
  • Approx. width: 22.5cm
Gallery Label
Ewer and salver 1600–25 India (Gujarat) Mother-of-pearl on a metal frame Probably made for the Portuguese market in India or for export to Europe Museum nos. 4258, 4283-1857(09.12.2015)
Object history
"When acquired by the Museum in 1857, these pieces were thought to be Italian. The conviction that such articles were European was motivated not only by their Western shape, but also by the fact that seventeenth- and eighteenth-century continental goldsmiths consciously copied Gujarati mother-of-pearl work, translating its effects into familiar and new forms, thus creating problems of attribution for future scholars that still exist

today."

Summary
This ewer and the set it belongs to are Indian in origin. They were made in Gujarat. However, when the V&A acquired the set in 1857, curators thought these pieces were Italian. This was because the set had a European shape. Another reason was that from about 1600 to 1700 European goldsmiths deliberately copied Gujarati mother-of-pearl work for both familiar and new forms. This created problems of identification for future scholars that still exist today.
Associated Objects
Bibliographic Reference
Luxury goods from India : the art of the Indian cabinet maker / Amin Jaffer. London: V&A Publications, 2002 Number: 1851773819pp.38-39For comparable pieces see Barbara Wills, Susan La Niece, Bet McLeod and Caroline Cartwright, "A shell garniture from Gujarat, India in the British Museum", The British Museum Technical Research Bulletin, Volume 1, 2007, pp. 1-8.
Collection
Accession Number
4258-1857

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record createdNovember 27, 2002
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