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Mughal Parcel-Gilt Soup Tureen c.1775


(First Mughal Silver Exhibition to be staged in 100 years)

Reflecting Power: Three Schools of Indian Silver, a selling exhibition curated by Wynyard R. T. Wilkinson opens at Indar Pasricha Fine Arts, 22 Connaught Street in London, 2nd-12th July.

A strikingly beautiful 18th century Mughal parcel gilt tureen made in Lucknow, will be among over four hundred silver objects spanning three centuries of Indian history on view as part of a selling exhibition at Indar Pasricha Fine Arts, 22 Connaught Street in London. The chased and engraved tureen, which features exquisitely rendered scrolling foliage interspersed with animals both wild and domestic, represents the heights to which the decorative arts rose in India under Mughal rule.

“This tureen represents a sublime fusion of Neo-classical form and Mughal decorative style,” says curator Wynyard Wilkinson. “In this one piece you can see how Eastern art was being influenced by Western tastes at the time of production.”

“India’s long and tumultuous history is arguably nowhere better reflected than in silver objects produced to the order of those who once ruled the vast Sub-Continent,” Wilkinson continued. “I have designed this exhibition to begin with items tailored to the luxuriant tastes of the Mughal Emperors who controlled India from the 16th through to the mid 19th centuries. The focus then shifts to pieces reflecting the Georgian restraint favoured by early European merchants and soldiers who arrived under the auspices of the East India Company. Finally is a group of objects produced during the influence of the British Raj, which reveals an emerging indigenous genre.”

Wilkinson, the author of three books on Indian silver, has selected objects which mirror the tastes of these three elites. The exhibition, a chronological progression of taste and styles in India spanning three centuries, will feature pieces designed for personal as well as official use and offers a glimpse into these three very diverse cultures and offer investment value with pieces starting from £50.

In all its jewel-like magnificence, Mughal silver incorporates design and decorative elements that reveal the exotic amalgam that was Mughal culture. With roots reaching as far afield as the Mongolian Steppes and Persia, Mughal civilisation brought a finesse to the decorative arts of India that remains in evidence to this day.

By the time the East India Company established itself in the Sub-Continent in the late 18th century, the sober discipline of Georgian taste was fashionable in Britain. It follows then that Georgian style silver was the order of the day for the numerous mercantile and military adventurers who populated the great Presidency towns. This body of work was produced by Indian craftsmen under the aegis of European firms like Hamilton & Co. in Calcutta, the Gordon family in Madras.

Finally are objects produced during the final period of British influence in India, which lasted from the mid-19th through to India’s independence in 1947. This period saw a concerted effort on behalf of the Raj to ensure that indigenous crafts in India were not lost to the rapid industrialisation that took place worldwide at that time. The result is hand-wrought silver that represents a true confluence of styles wherein European forms are enhanced by indigenous decorative motifs.


Photography available upon request

Wynyard R. T. Wilkinson
Indar Pasricha Fine Arts
22 Connaught Street
London W2 2 AF

For Media Enquiries:

Russell Elliott
Cassleton Elliott & Co. Ltd.
07808 403 963

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