20.3.14

Indian jewelry: thewa work

Thewa brooch, 19th century, Chased gold over blue glass, set in gilt silver. The Victoria and Albert Museum

Another type of traditional Indian jewelry that I want to tell you about is thewa (another spelling is theva) work. This technique is unique not only to India but to only one its region - Patrabharh town in Rajasthan. Nowhere else in India this skill and fine expertise exists. It was invented in 1767 by a local goldsmith. The technique has been kept secret since then and knowledge of theva work passed from father to son who start learning it at an early age. At present there are four families of goldsmiths in Partabgarh who carry on with this tradition.

Thewa bracelet detail, 19th century, Metropolitan Museum of Art

The process of making thewa work is detailed, time consuming and intricate, taking up to a month to complete each piece. The design - Hindu mythology or Mughal court scenes, historical events or fauna and flora motifs - is at first punched out of a twenty-four carat very thin gold sheet on a board covered with a layer of lac. The lac is heated and the metal sheet is pressed tightly and firmly into it and peeled off from it after cooling. The gold sheet is laid on top of the glass then and again heated until the metal is fused on to the glass surface. The colours of the glass are traditionally red, green and blue.

Thewa belt buckle, 19th century. source

Thewa ring, late 19th century source

The craft reached its pick during Victorian times. Many traditional theva objects - trays, flower cases, boxes - were sold to British living in or visiting India and were taken to Europe as souvenirs. At the same time brooches, buttons, cuff-links, hairpins and earrings with theva work were specially made for Europeans. Theva units were also set into fans, umbrella handles, perfume bottles, photo frames and it became a status symbol to own such beautiful items. The Indians buyers of theva work preferred belts, necklaces and pendants. Swords, shields, spoons and animal trappings were also decorated with thewa work units.

Thewa brooch, 19th century, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thewa necklace detail, 19th century  source

Unfortunately as only a handful of craftsmen are left in this area of work this fine art is slowly dying out.

Related posts: Indian jewelry: tarakashi filigree
Indian jewelry: modern pieces

25 comments:

  1. What beautiful pieces, Olga. The first one in particular reminds me of Damascene jewellery, which I think has a history in Spain and Japan, though the technique originated in Damascus. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi all, we are manufacturing and exporting Thewa jewellery, with our comapny name malvia exports. since2001. Giving revival to thewa art and its craftsman. Anyone want to join hands with us. Most welcome.Please visit www.jaipurart.com and www.jaipurart.in and www.thewashop.com for full details and designs. Vinita(00919351511707 whatsapp), Jaipur, Rajasthan,India.

      Delete
    2. We are manufacturing and supplier of thewa art jewellery
      Maheshnj2011@gmail.com
      09893001161

      Delete
  2. wow those pieces are so absolutely amazing, so beautiful! incredible!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi all, we are manufacturing and exporting Thewa jewellery, with our comapny name malvia exports. since2001. Giving revival to thewa art and its craftsman. Anyone want to join hands with us. Most welcome.Please visit www.jaipurart.com and www.jaipurart.in and www.thewashop.com for full details and designs. Vinita(00919351511707whatsapp), Jaipur, Rajasthan,India.

      Delete
  3. These treasures are of a unique beauty, a great work of art. I can not say which of it I like best. They are all faszinating.
    Sabine xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi all, we are manufacturing and exporting Thewa jewellery, with our comapny name malvia exports. since2001. Giving revival to thewa art and its craftsman. Anyone want to join hands with us. Most welcome.Please visit www.jaipurart.com and www.jaipurart.in and www.thewashop.com for full details and designs. Vinita(00919351511707 whatsapp), Jaipur, Rajasthan,India.

      Delete
  4. amazingly intricate and beautiful pieces. I have an idea on how it's made. In my jewelry class we experimented with cutting tiny pieces of metal (from special metal foil) and adhering them to enameled pieces -- enamel is the same as glass.
    Thank you, you always surprise me with something new in a jewelry world :).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi all, we are manufacturing and exporting Thewa jewellery, with our company name Malvia Exports. since2001. Giving revival to thewa art and its craftsman. Anyone want to join hands with us. Most welcome.Please visit www.jaipurart.com and www.jaipurart.in and www.thewashop.com for full details and designs. Vinita(00919351511707whatsapp), Jaipur, Rajasthan,India.

      Delete
  5. Very beautiful. I think I've seen similar pieces in museums in India but knew nothing of the name or manufacturing process! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi all, we are manufacturing and exporting Thewa jewellery, with our company name Malvia Exports. since2001. Giving revival to thewa art and its craftsman. Anyone want to join hands with us. Most welcome.Please visit www.jaipurart.com and www.jaipurart.in and www.thewashop.com for full details and designs. Vinita(00919351511707whatsapp), Jaipur, Rajasthan,India.

      Delete
  6. My Dear friend Olga,thank you for visiting me :) and I enjoy what you said there. It always made my day :)
    Anyway, I just nominated you for my sunshine award. Thank you for being my sunshine here. I always love hear from you and love what you shared about culture fashion around the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi all, we are manufacturing and exporting Thewa jewellery, with our company name Malvia Exports. since2001. Giving revival to thewa art and its craftsman. Anyone want to join hands with us. Most welcome.Please visit www.jaipurart.com and www.jaipurart.in and www.thewashop.com for full details and designs. Vinita(00919351511707whatsapp), Jaipur, Rajasthan,India.

      Delete
  7. Gorgeous. It's unfortunate that this is a dying art, although those who have been lucky enough to own a piece will cherish them until the end of time.
    Barbara @ www.allmylivesnow.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi all, we are manufacturing and exporting Thewa jewellery, with our company name Malvia Exports. since2001. Giving revival to thewa art and its craftsman. Anyone want to join hands with us. Most welcome.Please visit www.jaipurart.com and www.jaipurart.in and www.thewashop.com for full details and designs. Vinita(00919351511707whatsapp), Jaipur, Rajasthan,India.

      Delete
  8. Very special. I was not aware of this jewelry technique at all. At Java, Indonesia, they have a lot of filigree, but that is often silver and not made like this. Thanks for sharing, Olga.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi all, we are manufacturing and exporting Thewa jewellery, with our company name Malvia Exports. since2001. Giving revival to thewa art and its craftsman. Anyone want to join hands with us. Most welcome.Please visit www.jaipurart.com and www.jaipurart.in and www.thewashop.com for full details and designs. Vinita(00919351511707whatsapp), Jaipur, Rajasthan,India.

      Delete
  9. Nice collection you provide of Indian jewelry in this post. I know a online website which provide ancient stone jewelry. It is GemPundit.com . You can browse it for good stone and stone jewelry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi all, we are manufacturing and exporting Thewa jewellery, with our company name Malvia Exports. since2001. Giving revival to thewa art and its craftsman. Anyone want to join hands with us. Most welcome.Please visit www.jaipurart.com and www.jaipurart.in and www.thewashop.com for full details and designs. Vinita(00919351511707whatsapp), Jaipur, Rajasthan,India.

      Delete
    2. We are manufacturer and supplier thewa art jewellery
      Maheshnj2011@gmail.com
      09893001161

      Delete
    3. We are manufacturer and supplier thewa art jewellery
      Maheshnj2011@gmail.com
      09893001161

      Delete
  10. Hi all, we are manufacturing and exporting Thewa jewellery, with our company name Malvia Exports. since2001. Giving revival to thewa art and its craftsman. Anyone want to join hands with us. Most welcome.Please visit www.jaipurart.com and www.jaipurart.in and www.thewashop.com for full details and designs. Vinita(00919351511707whatsapp), Jaipur, Rajasthan,India.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is amazing collection on indian jewelry. i am think to buy ring with this design.

    ReplyDelete
  12. We are manufacturing ----thewa art jewellery
    Maheshnj2011@gmail.com
    09893001161

    ReplyDelete
  13. Really loved that Thewa ring. Awesome Thewa Work
    Kartik

    ReplyDelete