Colonial Indian silver child's cup

Colonial Indian silver child's cup


An antique Victorian Indian Swami silver child's cup mounted on cast scroll supports and decorated with raised, hand chased foliage and scrollwork. The cup is mounted on four scrolled leaf pattern supports and has a lovely cast scroll handle.

An ever-popular christening gift, children's silver mugs have been around for several centuries. A lidless drinking vessel with a handle, a silver child's mug was traditionally used for serving hot drinks. Silver was the preferred material because it kept the drink hot and did not taint its taste.

Small mugs were made specifically for children and some 18th century boarding schools listed a mug as a mandatory item that a boy should take to school.

Swami silver is the name given to a distinctive style of silverware that originated in the South Indian city of Madras (now known as Chennai) during the British rule. Swami is the local Tamil word for god or deity and the style is characterised by a proliferation of figures of Hindu gods and goddesses and sacred festival themes.

Swami silver was pioneered and popularised by the Orr brothers who arrived in Madras from Scotland in 1843 and worked closely with local silversmiths to create fine silverware for the European market.


Height 105 mm / 4 "
Diameter 70 mm / 3"
Weight 203 g (6.53 troy ozs)



Madras, now Chennai