Gold & Silverware
The princely states of India demanded not only enamelled jewellery but also enamelled utensils such as wine-cups, finger-bowls, pill boxes etc. , in both gold and silver repousse, sometimes studded with jewels.The craftspersons of India excel in this art. With the evolution of new tools,techniques and skills, they are now better equipped to cater to modern tastes.Fully geared to meet modern market demands, today the gold and silver plated articles produced are usually plain or even when ornamented are devoid of extensive encrustation.Portions of silver articles are sometimes covered with gold water. The designs thus formed are known as the Ganga-Jamuna pattern from the rivers Ganga and Jamuna which meet at Allahabad and flow together.Lucknow, the former seat of the Nawabs of Avadh produces an extensive range of gold and silver plated articles in a multitude of patterns. The designs resemble those found in Kashmir. Owing to the strong Islamic influence, still prevailing, most of the articles are highly ornamented, with repousse work depiciting hunting and jungle scenes and floral motifs.
Brass & Copperware
India is the largest brass and copper making region in the world with thousands of establishments spread all over for articles made out of one or more pieces of metal.The copper or brass sheet is first marked out by a pair of compass and the piece or pieces cut off by a scissor called katari. The required shape is made by alternate heating and hammering, and is finally turned on the lathe. The final polish to the article is given on the lathe itself. Moradabad is famous for utensils,both utility and ornamental, made of white metal and electroplated brass and copper. The engraving is either sada (plain) or sia kalam.Modern streamlined articles of Swedish design in polished brass or burnished copper are also made here, satisfying the demand for modern accessories and sophisticated interior decoration. Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh is the first city in India for the multitude of its cast and sculptured mythological images and emblemata in brass and copper as well as household utensils. In recent years Mirzapur has also emerged as one of the important brass industries of Uttar Pradesh. Goods produced have an all India market,with a portion being exported to other countries. Some of the most beautiful and interesting metalware of India for daily as well as for ceremonial purposes are crafted in Kashmir, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Metal ornaments have been a rave in all ages and times. The attractive contrasts in colours and textures of metals has led to the evolution of metal ornamentation through techniques like inlay, overlay, applique, fixing of colours etc.
Bidri, a form of surface ornamentation, takes its name from the city of Bidar situated north-west of Hyderabad. The work is in black colour which never fades and is relieved with silver and gold inlay. In Lucknow the art of manufacturing bidri is believed to have been introduced from the time of the Nawabs of Avadh. The Emperor at Delhi bestowed on them the dignity of the fish (Mahi Murattib) Lucknow bidri, therefore, abounds in fish motifs,flora & fauna and vine leaf patterns.
Enamelling is the art of colouring and ornamenting the surface of the metal by fusing over it various mineral substances. The beauty of the article depends on the skill and resources of the worker and the excellence of the materials employed. The range of colours obtained on gold is much greater than that on silver, copper and brass. Three forms of enamelling are known to exist. These include the cloisonne of Japan and China, the chamleve pattern extensively practised in Lucknow and Varanasi. And Jaipur specialises in enamelled trays and trinket boxes.
Ideal Places to Shop
Lucknow, Varanasi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Bihar.