The ongoing exhibition Silver Treasures from India and Denmark at the National Museum, New Delhi celebrates the rich silver legacy from the two countries.
Inaugurated by the Crown Prince & Princess of Denmark in the presence of Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakashi Lekhi on February 27, the exhibition is a melting pot for a diverse variety of silver artworks from the two countries.
On display are more than 250 extraordinary silver objects segregated into five different themes that explore the craftsmanship and silversmith techniques of two countries from various aspects. This initiative showcases some of the rare pieces from the reserve collection of the National Museum, New Delhi as also the silver collection from Denmark’s Museum Kolding, and marks a cultural milestone in the cooperation between India and Denmark.
The exhibition is part of a cultural exchange programme, which continues until 2026 – so there is much to look forward to with exchanges in culture, crafts, music and literature in the near future. Culture creates a bridge between two diverse countries and both can learn a lot from each other and gain insight into each other’s worlds, differences and similarities.
Significantly, the first contacts between India and Denmark were also about exchange – through trade. The exquisite Indian craftsmanship and beautiful textiles became a sought-after commodity in Europe and close links were established between our two countries through the exchange of goods. Here we share a common history.”
Says National Museum Director General Lily Pandeya, “As nature blooms in spring; we join in, rejoicing and celebrating its beauty with the inaugural of this splendid exhibition. It is indeed a unique curatorial collaboration and cultural exchange between Museum Kolding, Denmark and the National Museum, India, showcasing the magnificent silver legacy of India and Denmark. Although separated by borders our transnational cultural endeavours, unite us as ‘one’, and resonate with the spirit of India’s G20 presidency (2023) Vausudhaiva Kutumbakam.”
“We have a substantial collection of exquisite silver objects which belong to a vast timeline, starting from the beginning of the Indian civilization to the modern era. However, for this exhibition, to understand the story of Indian silver alongside the Danish silver around 100 objects have been selected from the reserve collection of the National Museum India to highlight the diverse and dynamic craftsmanship of Indian silver,” she added.
The exhibition has silver objects dating back to the Indus Valley Civilisation which include rare silver beads, coins dating back to the ancient and medieval India, Miniature idols, jewellery, smoking pipes, exclusively carved and enamelled itardaan (perfume bottle) and other decorative items from the collection of the National Museum New Delhi.
Some of the rare silver pieces on display include a matchbox and a glass, both dating to the 19th century period, from Chennai, an 18th-century perfume container from Lucknow and a 17th-century spouted ewer from Kashmir.
The Danish collection of Museum Kolding includes the Bible cover in silver, spinning kettle, tankard depicting biblical stories, along with other exquisite pieces like perfume boxes, jewellery, vintage tea sets, cutlery presents an eclectic collection of silver from Indian & Denmark. A ‘Giraffe vase’ from Copenhagen, with its design inspired by the animal’s anatomy, is a special attraction among viewers.
The show ends on April 30