Silverware

 

 

Silverware

The tradition of using decorative and utilitarian pieces of silver in India is an ancient one. Silver articles come in a lot of variety; silver glasses, crockery, pots, utensils, candle stands, photo frames, mugs, trays etc, decorative items such as small figurines of deities, engraved boxes, perfume bottles etc are also made from silver.

Silver Art in India

Each region has its particular and unique traditions pertaining to silverware:

Rajasthan is not only famous for its ethnic gold and silver jewelery the world over, but it is also known for exquisite silver articles like carved silver boxes, cigarette cases, perfume bottles etc. Intricately carved animals, chariots etc are also produced here and exported abroad. Jaipur is the main center for articles made out of silver.

Orissa and Andhra Pradesh are known for silver filigree work. Intricately twisted strands of silver are braided together and then hammered into gentle lattice patterns of frail artistic beauty. Utilitarian items such as key chains, boxes, pots, trays, etc are adorned with silver filigree work.

 

Andhra Pradesh is famous for Bidri ware. Pouring molten zinc and copper solution into moulds creates Bidri items. The surface of the object is then engraved in interesting designs, to created grooves. These grooves are then inlaid with silver and polished. Finally the objects are oxidized using sal ammoniac solution, which makes the surface black and the silver inlay, thus stands out, creating a stunning contrast. Pots, trinklets, hookahs, trays etc are created using this method.

Kashmir is known for etched and ornately engraved silver items such as samovars, trays, bowls and plates.

Lucknow is known for its silver plated items, which are created by the repousse method. Low relief work can be seen on ornate boxes and other items.

Articles of daily use like cups, goblets, jars, fruit bowls, mugs, photo frames, pen stands, pens, inkpots, paper cutters, small stools, mugs etc are made all over India. Small jewel boxes and decorative silver vases are at times encrusted and studded with semi-precious stones.

Silver utensils with or without engraving are often given to a bride as a part of the dowry in many regions of the country. Silver utensils and vessels are often used in religious functions.


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