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Superb Copper Teapot with Fine, Pierced Silver Mounts
Tibet
18th-19th century

height: 27cm, length: 27.5cm, weight: 1,129g

This beautiful teapot is the finest example we have had in terms of its form, patina and fineness of its silver fittings.

It has a tapering, spherical base of hammered copper and a low ring foot. The handle is in the form of a silver horned dragon. The spout is designed as a
silver makara.

The neck and shoulder are decorated with very fine, pierced silver collars of interlaced foliate form.

The edge of the mouth and the rim of the lid are covered in chased sheet silver.

The domed lid has a pierced silver mount and a finely worked silver bud-like finial.

The lid is attached to the handle with a short silver chain which includes a single orange agate or carnelian bead, which itself has excellent patina.

Tea in Tibet was an important staple in the diet. The tea was made from Chinese black tea bricks. Butter from yaks and salt were then added and churned
together to give a thick, soup-like liquid. This was drunk throughout the day by all social classes.

This teapot would have come from an aristocratic family or perhaps a wealthier monastery.

All the elements have excellent patina from age and use. It is sculptural and simply very beautiful. There are no repairs and no condition problems.

References:
Thurman, R., & D. Weldon,
Sacred Symbols: The Ritual Art of Tibet, Sotheby's/Rossi & Rossi, 1999.

Provenance:
private collection, London.

Inventory no.: 4538

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