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Author Topic:   indian silversmith
mark77

Posts: 35
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 10-29-2004 05:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mark77     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
can anyone inform me of the name of a silversmith from the indo-subcontinent whose initials are T.P.? they are found on a small 3-piece bachelor teaset along with the number 90. the set is covered with chased vines, leaves and flowers. the handles are shaped like snakes, without an insulating divider of wood or ivory, so the teapot handle gets very hot once boiling water is poured in. there are elephant finials with upturned trunks on all three pieces. i feel it is at least 50 years old, but that is just guessing. any info would be greatly appreciated. thank you. mark77

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Silver Lyon

Posts: 363
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 11-08-2004 11:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silver Lyon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
T.P and a number on a piece of East Indian silver is not a maker's mark, but a standard mark to denote the purity.
It is the nearest thing that India has to a hallmarking system and was introduced c.1920.
I think that it was only really used in Bombay (but stand to be corrected!!) - the number (in this case 90) is to indicate that the piece is at least 90% pure silver.
I don't know what the T.P stands for (Tola is the standard weight for precious metals in India, so maybe 'Tola Percentage??).
Your Teapot will therefore be made c.1920-39 in or near Bombay. smile
You will find more in 'Indian Silver 1858-1947' by Wynyard Wilkinson, listed on the site's booklist.

[This message has been edited by Silver Lyon (edited 11-26-2004).]

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mark77

Posts: 35
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 11-23-2004 01:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mark77     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi silver lyon,

Thank you for referring me to indian silver by wilkinson - a beautiful and informative book. it has helped me identify one mark OM BHUJ which i now know stands for oomersi mawji, a silversmith circa 1860 - 1890 from the city of bhuj in cutch india.

Also, being canadian, I puzzled over why there were maple leaves chased on a sugar castor and a pair of goblets from india. well, they are actually chinar leaves, from plane (chinar) trees grown in kashmir.

However my original question remains unanswered. the author states some bombay-made (and elsewhere) cutch-style silver is marked T.100, T.95 or T.85 intending to indicate the purity of silver. no pictures of these marks are included in the book. my tea set is marked 90 above T.P. so I think it represents 90% silver (optimistically) and T.P. is the name of the silversmith.

Any further comments will be greatly appreciated.

mark77

The above moved here as requested.

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Silver Lyon

Posts: 363
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 11-23-2004 02:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silver Lyon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did you miss this, Mark77?
The T.P. (see above) MUST refer to the percentage of pure silver, as it is pretty universal across all sorts of styles and qualities not to say that there is too much of it for it all to have come from one workshop!
- Just for the record, OM of Bhuj in Kutch, India, is one of the finest silversmiths around and worked in VERY pure silver - often 96% or better (softer and easier to work) smile

[This message has been edited by Silver Lyon (edited 11-24-2004).]

[This message has been edited by Silver Lyon (edited 11-24-2004).]

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FredZ

Posts: 1069
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 11-23-2004 04:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FredZ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe this is the Master of repousse that a dear friend has collected and researched extensively. I have seen images of his collection and the quality is spectacular. I was most intrigued by the double walled cups with pierced and chased designs on the outside wall. I hope one day we will see his collection and read his book on this great Indian master.

Fred

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mark77

Posts: 35
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 11-23-2004 04:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mark77     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
hi fredz - i'm not sure if you meant T.P. was a master silversmith or not, but the description of the pierced double walled silverwork sounds more like work from burma,
according to wilkinson.
silver lyon, i did not miss your point, i just don't think it "must" stand for tola percentage. thank you both for your replies. mark77

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FredZ

Posts: 1069
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 11-23-2004 05:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FredZ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My comments were related to OM of Bhuj in Katch. My friend refers to his work as micro repousse.

Does anyone have examples of this work to share?

Fred

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Silver Lyon

Posts: 363
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 11-24-2004 06:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silver Lyon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
'The Arts of Kutch' - edited by Christopher W. London, published by Marg Publications - vol 51 No 4 June 2000 (Library of Congress no 99-939206) has a short but useful piece on this work. It is a beautiful volume and demonstrates how designs in one geographical center (Kutch) relate to one another across a whole swathe of different mediums (architecture, painting, wood-carving, textiles, silver).

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mark77

Posts: 35
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 11-25-2004 06:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mark77     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
leafing through wilkinson's "indian silver 1858 - 1947" again, i noticed on page 92 several examples of the standard mark T.95. one is J Manikrai, above T.95 above Karachi. the second is Soosania, above T.95 above Karachi. neither resembles the marks on my 3-piece cutch-style teaset, which are 90 above T.P. so my hunch that T.P. are the initials of a silversmith remains in limbo. further elucidation will be appreciated. mark77

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