Indian and Himalayan Art
Teapot Adorned with Scenes of Rural LifeMade in Bhowanipore, Calcutta (present-day Kolkata), West Bengal, India, Asia
Grish Chunder Dutt, Indian, active late 19th - early 20th century
Silver with repousse work, ivory
2007-111-1Gift of Joan K. Short, 2007
LabelFor most of the nineteenth century, silversmiths in Bengal catered to English tastes, producing wares with simple lines and minimal decoration. In the months leading up to the Calcutta International Exhibition of 1883, however, a community of artisans in Bhowanipore, an area of Calcutta (Kolkata), pioneered a new type of luxury silverware featuring detailed depictions of Bengali rural scenes and festival processions. This design shift may have been driven by a desire to fashion a more distinctively “Bengali” mode of silverware for the global market. Ironically, the images of rustic and city life on this teapot were largely inspired by paintings and photographs produced by British travelers to the region.
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