We are pleased to exhibit an exquisite collection of Burmese silver in the month of October, 2010. The collection has been gathered from the Shan States, Arakan and Mandalay, where traditional Burmese silversmiths had crafted the finest silverware. Most of the pieces in the collection were made during the period 1875-1945, when the art of crafting silver reached its peak. Some of the pieces were even signed by the makers and others dated. The collection includes bowls, drinking cups, offering containers, betel nut boxes, manuscript cases, rice baskets, lime boxes, etc.

Burma's history of crafting silver dates back to at least the 9th century. During the pre-colonial times, the art was widely practiced throughout Burma. It was during the British colonization that the art of crafting silver was fully developed with the encouragement from the administration to boost economic growth, making the period 1875-1945 the high-point for the finest Burmese silver crafting.

Exemplifying the finest skill of traditional Burmese silversmiths in repousse, chasing and casting, the collection showcases the ornate and deeply three-dimensional decorated work with depiction of Jataka tales and Buddhist scriptures, the simpler and more restrained style with relief carving, some influenced by the Chinese style and taste, fine pierced work in repousse background, and meticulous relief-work and engravings with motifs such as Zodiac, peacocks, bamboo, floral, gyrating dancers and lively animals.

Most Burmese silver made in the late 19th century and early 20th century was made of silver which is approximately 90% pure. On top of the real intrinsic value of silver in these Burmese silver works of art, there is the added value of excellent craftsmanship with rich history and exotic cultural background. Furthermore, the limited supply of such superb examples, still undervalued, represents great affordable collecting opportunities.

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