Decorative Arts Collection

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an ornately decorated silver and gold box with elaborate carvings on the front, sitting on a wooden stand
Filigree - one of the most fascinating techniques of the silversmith’s craft
Filigree involves melting 16 parts of silver with 1 part of lead casting it into bars/sticks by pouring it into moulds. Next, the bars or sticks are beat into plates wires. Designs/patterns are formed by carefully arranging wires on a mica sheet, bonded by special cement. The parts are then joined by soldering. The ready article is cleaned given finishing touches. Cuttak in Odisha and Karimnagar in Telangana are the 2 most famous centres of this craft, known for their delicate workmanship.
a blue and green vase sitting on top of a metal tray next to another container
The art of embellishment and colouring the surface of objects made of silver or gold by fusing mineral substances on it is known as minakari (enamel work). The nature of the base is vitreous and the oxide of a metal (cobalt or iron) is the colouring matter. The majority of the pieces of Indian enamel work use the champlevé technique in which the enamel is placed in cavities made on the metal ground.