Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery

Bowl

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

Object Type
The basin is made from the shell of the marine snail Turbo marmoratus and set in silver-gilt mounts.

History
The mother-of-pearl was assembled in Gujarat, western India, in the early 17th century and the basin was then mounted in London . Gujarat was the centre of production of a wide range of decorative objects decorated with or made from mother-or-pearl. These were made for both the domestic market and for a regular export trade to the Middle East, Ottoman Turkey, Indonesia and Europe.

Design
Mother-of-pearl was one of the curious, exotic materials so highly prized in Renaissance courts. They were mounted in appropriately rich and fashionable settings of gold or silver-gilt. These luxurious objects were intended for display, in collectors' cabinets or on sideboard arrangements.

Materials & Making
The snail shell was carved to remove the hard outer layer and reveal the lustrous mother-of-pearl layers underneath. These layers were finely sliced into thin plaques and assembled. The centre of the bowl was made up of flat plaques to form a rosette, probably derived from the lotus flower motif. The sides were made from curved plaques. The plaques were pinned together with fine nails.
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object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Mother-of-pearl, with silver gilt mounts
Brief Description
Mother-of-Pearl Bowl
Physical Description
Mother-of-pearl bowl
Dimensions
  • Height: 8.5cm
  • Diameter: 24cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 30/05/2000 by AS
Marks and Inscriptions
Maker's mark: a trefoil slipped in a shaped shield
Gallery Label
British Galleries: The bowl may have been used for sweetmeats but was primarily for display. At this period, mother-of-pearl came mainly from the shell of a marine snail which lived only in the Western Pacific. It was therefore rare and exotic and was often mounted in gold and silver.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Mrs Hannah Gubbay
Object history
Made in London;
Subject depicted
Summary
Object Type
The basin is made from the shell of the marine snail Turbo marmoratus and set in silver-gilt mounts.

History
The mother-of-pearl was assembled in Gujarat, western India, in the early 17th century and the basin was then mounted in London . Gujarat was the centre of production of a wide range of decorative objects decorated with or made from mother-or-pearl. These were made for both the domestic market and for a regular export trade to the Middle East, Ottoman Turkey, Indonesia and Europe.

Design
Mother-of-pearl was one of the curious, exotic materials so highly prized in Renaissance courts. They were mounted in appropriately rich and fashionable settings of gold or silver-gilt. These luxurious objects were intended for display, in collectors' cabinets or on sideboard arrangements.

Materials & Making
The snail shell was carved to remove the hard outer layer and reveal the lustrous mother-of-pearl layers underneath. These layers were finely sliced into thin plaques and assembled. The centre of the bowl was made up of flat plaques to form a rosette, probably derived from the lotus flower motif. The sides were made from curved plaques. The plaques were pinned together with fine nails.

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Bibliographic Reference
Amin Jaffer, Luxury Goods From India: the art of the Indian Cabinet-Maker, London : V&A, 2002, pp. 96-97, ill. ISBN: 1 85177 381 9.
Collection
Accession Number
M.17-1968

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record createdMay 4, 1999
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