A Pair of Tibetan-Style Ritual Kettle Shaped Silver Lidded Ewers Inscribed with Persian Poem in Nastaliq Script,Probably Leh-Ladakh,Kashmir India,Circa Late 19th. Century.

Identification Number: 523


Tibetan-Style Ritual Kettle, A Fine Pair of Engraved Silver Lidded Ewers, Decorated with Rumi Style Vegetal Motives & Palmetts, Inscribed with Persian Poem in Nastaliq Script with S Shaped Dragon Handle,Probably Leh-Ladakh,Kashmir India,Circa Late 19th. Century.


This rare pair of Tibetan or Mongolian Buddhist style ritual ewers were probably been made by a talented Muslim faith believer silversmith from the almost 50% Muslim inhabitants of Ladakh, where the rest of the population are of Buddha believers.

The artist is showing his extraordinary skills and talent by using this originally typical Buddha’s shape ewer for a Muslim taste, by using typical Islamic motifs and Farsi Poems.
One poem is attributed to the Persian poet Saadi Shirazi B. 1210 AH,.
The poem is related to the Dervish’s views on life, work and survival.

بماند سالها اين نظم و ترتيب
ز ما هر ذرة خاك أفتادة جايى
“غرض نقشيست كز ما باز ماند كه هستي را نمي بينم بقايى”
مكر در كار درويشان دعايى

Other poem reads as follows:-

مكر صاحبدلي روزي به رحمت
كندر در كار اين مسكين دعايى

Translating to (The Poet or The Maker of this Ewer is describing himself):-

I hope someday, a great man will pray for this poor man.

Other poem reads as follows:-

أين تحفه بود بسند شاهان
أز نقش و نكار كشت بستان

Translating to (The Poet or the Maker of this Ewer is being very Humble by describing this beautiful Ewer).

This gift is not precious but is probably something that Kings might wish to have.
All These Drawings and Writings will Create a beautiful Garden.

This type of ewers is usually used in the Himalayan Tibetan and Mongolian regions in the Buddha’s rituals or for libation purposes and according to the Buddha rituals the ewer is intended for the offerings to the hungry ghosts who have been reborn again.
Or according to the Buddhism teachings this type of ewer is used part of Dharma Protector practice, the Serkem is the drink that protects the deities.
In the Tibetan language Ser means golden and Kem means Beverage.

Each ewer is of a pear-shaped body with a tapering faceted spout with S shaped dragon handle.
In order to secure the lid from not getting separated from the body of the ewer, the domed shaped cover is attached with a chain to the ewer’s body, the lid knob is beautifully engraved in the form of a blossoming lotus flower.





The height kettle No1 is 26 cm.
The height kettle No2 is 25.5 cm.
The width between the spout and handle of both ewers is approximately 15 to 16 cm.
The dimensions of the oval shaped base are 7* 5.5 cm.


Excellent, some metal tarnishing.


The European Art Market.


For other related inscribed silver pieces which were made in Kashmir during the 19th. and early 20th. Centuries please see the following:
Islamic Metals, The Collection of The Museum Civilizations Museum of Oriental Art “Giuseppe Tucci”, by Gabriella Di Flumeri Vatielli and Roberta Giunta, WWW.ARTIMIDE-EDITIONI.IT , 2022, ISBN:978-887575-391-7.
Please see the heavily decorated and inscribed Kashmiri ewer Lot No. 10 catalogued on pages 78-79 and other related Kashmiri silverware catalogued on pages 77, 220, 221-224.

For similar shaped item please see the small brass ritual kettle in Sankar monastery Leh Ladakh Jammu Kashmir India.

Arts & Crafts Jammu & Kashmir Land People Culture, D. N. Saraf, Published in India, ABHINAV Publications, 1987, ISBN: 81-7017-204-7.

Foe Similar (Golden Beverage offering Silver Ewer “Serkyem”) in the collection of the National Museum of Liverpool, lot identification No. 1962.335.19

Please see similar Buddha style metalwork made in the villages of Chiling-Sumda & Kaya in Marka Valley, about 90 Km from Leh in Ladakh, illustrated on pages 144, 145, 150 & 194.

Les Cuivres Anciens Du Cachmire, The Old Brass of Kashmir By CH.-E De Ujfalvy, Paris, Editeur, Ernest Leroux, 1883, (L’Art Cuivres Anciens Au Cachemire & Au Petit-Thibet).

Please see similar sold (Tibeto-Chinese) Libation Ewer “KALASHA” Sold lot 1115 at Bonhams Auctioneers New York on the 19th. of March 2012., The Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Sale.