Indian Silver Tea Service with Tray
Cutch, late 19th/ early 20th century, in the style of Oomersi Mawji
Comprising a teapot, cream jug, covered sugar bowl and tray, the globular bodies chased overall with lions, antelope and hare amongst dense foliate scrolls, the covers with elephant or lion finials. Length of teapot 10 inches, diameter of tray 15 1/4 inches, total approximately 115 ounces.
The underside of the teapot inscribed "Ao Exmo Ex-Governador Adelino da Cruz em testimunho da mais subida consideracao e profundo reconhecimento offrece o povo de Damao".
Daman is located just over one hundred miles north of Bombay and was part of the string of Portuguese trading forts running along the coast of India established in the 1510s and 1520s. Daman remained Portuguese until seized by the Indian military in 1961. Cutch silver was made in British India further north along the coast from Daman and is noted for rich foliate decoration. There was a great history of silversmithing in the region and this distinctive style became hugely popular after it was first exhibited in Europe at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851. The London department stores, like Liberty & Co. and Harrod's soon began to retail works by Cutch silversmiths to fill the increasing public demand. It is interesting to note that the renowned scholar of Indian silver Wynyard Wilkinson notes in his book, "Indian Silver 1858-1947" that as in the case of the present tea set, unfortunately very little of this silver was hallmarked.
A similar three piece tea set by Oomersi Mawji is illustrated Wynyard Wilkinson "Indian Silver 1858-1947", pg. 97.
Additional Notes & Condition Report
Tray - light bending to rim
Teapot - insulators replaced; underside with presentation inscription
Cream - hinge to cover broken and loose
Sugar - slight bending to finial
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