Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Thewa Jewellery

From the land of Kings

                                                    -Thewa Jewellery 

                                          -Anagha Pamidi                                          
  Jewellery Designing Instructor, SDI            

                            Located on the north-western side of the Indian Sub- Continent, is the "land of kings"- the state of Rajasthan. "Heritagization" of the state is versatile; from its culture, traditions and wisdom in all creative fields, Rajasthan has always established its unique place on the map of India. Since, everything about this state is heritage driven- then how does jewellery not from a part of its exquisite heirloom of culture?
              Thewa Jewellery is the unanimous answer to this question. Passed down from generations, probably older than the countries democratic existence, Thewa Jewellery has always maintained its unique stance, as a creative art form of making jewellery.
                 Thewa Jewellery, also spelled phonetically as "Theva Jewellery", was quite a sensation amongst the Europeans settled in the Colonial India. They fondly referred to this piece of work as "Partabhgraph Work". The name is synonymous to the place of origin, Pratapgarh, Rajasthan. The probable date of origin is around 18th Century to early 19th Century in Pratapgarh, which invariable spread to Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
A Rendered Thewa Pendant Designed By Anagha Pamidi

                  The methodology of this craftsmanship is "..superficially like enamelling but uses opposite techniques, for rather than heating coloured vitreous paste to fuse it to a metal base, the jeweller overlays an open work design in metal onto the top of a solid, coloured glass base. The outline of an image or scene is incised on a thin sheet of gold( with details such as the eyes or clothes of human figures lightly chased), and the background is cut away to produce a delicate open- work design, which then, Oppi Untracht explains in his account of the technique, fused by heat to a flat piece of coloured glass. .."
                  ".. The glass cell is backed by foil to reflect light and contained in a sliver- gilt surround  to make a plaque suitable for use in a variety of ornaments. .." According to the preference of the wearer the gilt can be either gold or silver. To make this technique even more appealing, craftsmen do include filigree work around the frame.
                      To encourage this ancient methodology of work, The Government of India has issued a posting stamp, depicting the illustration of this particular jewellery work. In 2004, this stamp was issued. Adding to the laurels of this already popular work, since 1996 this creative art form has garnered 9 national awards, giving it the right to be an ever lasting favourite jewellery piece of India.


Barnard, Nick; Indian Jewellery; V & A Publication; 2008
Aitken, Emma, Molly ; When Gold Blossoms- A Collection Susan L.Beningson Collection; 2004