3 Beautiful and Rare Arts of Udaipur
The spectacular sight of thousand of lamps glittering all around dazzled me for a moment as soon as I entered in Rukmani Arts Showroom. But I came out of mesmerizing vibes, when I found they were not glitte
The spectacular sight of thousand of lamps glittering all around dazzled me for a moment as soon as I entered Rukmani Arts Showroom (Near, Hotel Trident). But I came out of mesmerizing vibes, when I found they were not glittering lamps but silver, shell and mirror artifacts. Beautifully carved in style they were adding beauty to heritage, culture & handicrafts of Udaipur.
In search of some unique and antique art forms for art lovers and buyers, I hooked myself in streets of city. I discovered arts that are 200-400 years old and are now amazingly confined to this city only. These three art styles are Silver Furniture, Shell Art and Thikkari Mirror art.
The majestic look of the silver furniture gives a royal feel at a glance. Silver sheets are embedded on teak wood. The glazing silver when outlined as tiger, elephant or camel makes furniture more impressive. Floral and Jali (net) designs reflects the miniature artwork and perfection in the design. Taking luxury into account the silver furniture of Udaipur is now a brand around the world.
The design is first carved on the teak wood and a complete structure is made, then the silver sheets are implanted over it. German silver being cheaper is also used sometimes along with pure silver . The complete work is done by artists without machines. Due to the handmade effort it is better and preferred over the silver furniture made in Europe.
It’s a 250 year old art and only about 100 artist in Udaipur who practice this art. It takes around three months for 4 artists to make a sofa set. Furniture and its design can be as per the requirement.
Hearing of a table made of shells can bring a thought of uneven and rough surface. But to my surprise it was a flat table glowing like pool of thousand pearls. Hard work and months of effort by the artist lead to this wonderful piece of art.Only Mother of Pearls (MOP) shells (in which pearls are found) are used in this 500 years old art form. Table tops, wall murals, floors, paintings and art pieces are made using the top of these shells which comes out to be a plain surface. The rest of the shell (about 80%) is a waste. These numerous shell tops are then joined and polished to form a complete structure.
Udaipur has about 30-40 artist of this art. Apart from Udaipur, Agra is another place where this art is still alive. It takes 3 months for 3-4 persons to make a table top of 4 by4 feet. The art is made up of white, black, golden and also seven colored shells. These shells are imported from coastal cities of India, China and United States.
Brilliantly cut curved pieces of mirror, embossed on white glittery base of Plaster of Paris (POP) represent an unknowingly old art and the word thikkari stands for the curved shape mirror pieces. All these mirrors are handmade. Mostly used in wall décor, this art is exported to almost all the countries around the world.
The curved glasses are cut into desired designs which are then pasted on POP. Sometimes, precisely unified colorful glasses are also used to make mirrors. Floral designs are most common amongst all.
Rajasthani handicrafts and the outstanding art forms are renowned globally. And Udaipur, the capital of Mewar, is a major contributor to this recognition. Though, I believe everything is possible it was impracticable for me to review more than 2000 different art works placed in Rukmani Arts. So, I picked the above three antique beauties, next time I’ll come up with more of such reviews.
My heartiest thanks to Mr. Santosh Kalra of Rukmani Arts for providing all necessary help and details which made this review possible.