A Burmese embossed silver presentation chalice
Burmese, early 20th Century
Height 31cm, diameter 16.5cm, weight 937 grams
This remarkable and beautiful silver chalice, or trophy, was made in Burma in the late 1930s and offers a magnificent demonstration of the skill and beauty of Southeast Asian metalwork in the early twentieth century.
The main bowl that forms the top half of the piece bears a fluted rim and is embossed with figures, separately housed in a series of decorative frames, taking part in a kind of ceremonial procession or dance. The bowl is supported on a stem – the magnificent highlight of the chalice – which is cast as a kneeling dancer with winged bracers and a large, billowing undulating feathered trail at the waist. In turn, it is raised upon a circular base, embossed with alternating humans and animals, including an elephant and temple dog. It is engraved around the foot rim ‘Presented by engineering staff B.C.C. Thayetmyo 1938,’ – the B.C.C. in question are possibly the Burma Christian Council.