Brass, Copper and
Kashmir is known throughout the world for its arts and crafts. There has always been an increasing demand for the craftsmanship in Kashmir which finds fullest manifestation in silverware.
One of the ancient arts in Kashmir, the making of silverware is carried on a large scale. For centuries, its use has enjoyed great popularity among the Kashmiri people. Craftsmen of Kashmir have maintained the traditional fine workmanship of their ancestors and the quality of their products. Kashmiri silverware, especially ornamental picture-frames, is in great demand on the world market with the United States, European countries and Australia as its main customers.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir produces a mind-boggling range of silverware. Prominent among them are flower vases, silver tea-sets, scent chests, toilet sets, ornamental picture-frames, cigarette-cases, tumblers, etc. Among the flora and fauna, leaves of the chinar and the lotus are the trendy patterns. Designs of the lilac flower wrought in silver are also very popular.
The two main production centers of silverware in Kashmir are Jammu and Srinagar.
The art of casting brassware in Kashmir had flourished since a very long time. The Kashmiri brassware is noted all over the world for good quality and design. The brassware objects in Kashmir ranged from household, decorative and ceremonial items. They comprise mostly cooking pots and sundry articles for the household. However, the most celebrated brass item of Kashmir is samovars (tea-kettle of Russian origin).
Copper and Silverware
Shops in local market of the old city abound with objects of copper lining the walls, the floor and even the ceiling. One can see craftsmen engraving objects of household utility like samovars, bowls, plates and trays. There are floral, stylized, geometric, leaf and even calligraphic motifs that are engraved or embossed on copper, and occasionally silver, to cover the entire surface with intricate designs which are then oxidized, the better to stand out from the background. The work known as 'naqash' determines the price of the object, as does the weight.