Spanish Colonial Bowl Repoussed with Putti
South America, probably Argentina or Peru
early 19th century

height: 8.8cm, width: 27cm, weight: 196g

This unusual two-handled bowl is of repoussed solid silver. It features a central band of dancing and frolicking puttis, some of whom play musical instruments.
This central frieze is redolent of classical friezes employed by the designer Robert Adam in the early nineteenth century.

The bowl is without assay or maker's marks. Argentina or Peru seem the likely places of origin for this bowl however, with Bolivia perhaps another possibility.

The bowl does have several ownership marks in the South American colonial style. These read 'VR'. Such marks were either stamped or engraved to items in
colonial South America most probably to demonstrate ownership, particularly in larger families when questions of inheritance needed to be resolved.

Apart from the ownership marks, the bowl has a small French import mark that is composed of the letters 'ET' - a mark used in Paris in the latter part of the
nineteenth century to stamp foreign-made silver.

The bowl is in excellent condition, free of dents or repairs.

References:
de Lavalle, J.A. & W. Lang,
Arte y Tesoros del Peru: Plateria Virreynal, Banco de Credito del Peru en la Cultura, 1974.

Provenance: UK art market

Inventory no.: 2029

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This image shows the small, rectangular 19th
century French mark for foreign silver.