Antique 19th Century Thai Royal extremely rare solid silver and enamel water-pot on stand, of traditional form, decorated throughout with stylized leaves, flowers, religious figures and deities on a dark blue enamelled ground. Enamelling technique do not originate in Thailand, the process was originally developed by the Chinese and was most likely introduced to Thailand by the Chinese silversmiths arriving in the 18 and 19th Century. The most common colours used in Thai pieces are greens and blues. (Thai silver & nielloware, Paul Bromberg, page 28-29). Such water-pots (also known as kanam) were used to retain boiling water that would be poured into the Yixing (earthenware teapot) to brew the tea. (Thai silver & nielloware, Paul Bromberg, page 118).
This traditional water-pot is mounted with a shaped swinging handle and removable dome shaped lid.
The shaped stand is decorated with exquisite dense floral motifs. The silver is unmarked (tested 900+ standard), Attributed to 'Tan Yue He' this important firm was commissioned by the members of the Thai Royal family, exhibited at the 'Exposition Universelle' a world trade fair held from 6 May - 31 October 1889, Paris. This was the third exposition in which the Siamese government participated (Palais de Siam), used to demonstrate the finest wares Thailand had to offer, of which was a water-pot by Tan Yue He, thus this is why this silversmith is perhaps the most sought after amongst collectors. (Thai Silver & Nielloware, Paul Bromberg, page 202-204).
It's extremely rare to find enamelled water-pots with the original stand, such decorative pieces were often created to be used in religious ceremonies, presented as tribute gifts or simply used in the Thai Royal house as can be seen in the photo of Queen Sunanda Kumariratana with her royal regalia by her side, including an almost identical enamelled water-pot (Thai silver & nielloware, Paul Bromberg, page 34).
It has always been difficult to find and attribute pieces to the Thai Royal family, as they are rarely signed and in most cases its impossible to prove the provenance, but one sure way to distinguish such pieces is by the undeniable quality and rarity of the piece. These special pieces would often be made at the Palace by the court jewellers and would be distributed amongst the closest royal family members to be given away as elaborate gifts to foreign rulers, diplomats and businessman (Thai silver & nielloware, Paul Bromberg, page 145)
Width: 20 x 18.5cm