Sunday, August 28, 2016

Commemorative Stamps on Indian Metal Crafts – 26th August 2016.

Indian artisans knew the art of metalworking since 3000 B.C. The beautiful figurine of the dancing girl belonging to the Indus valley civilization bears testimony of this fact. This indicates the high level of workmanship attained by ancient craftsmen. In India craftsmen use different metals like iron, copper, silver and alloys like bronze, bell metal, white metal etc. to make a variety of items such as pots, pans, utensils, photo frames, sculptures of deities, mythological figures and animals etc. Items like doorknobs, taps, key chains, boxes etc. are also made, using different metals.

A variety of metalwork can be seen from different parts of the country. The Ladakh region of Kashmir is known for traditional vessels made out of iron and brass. The craftsmen of Kashmir are known for richly engraved traditional household items like bowls, samovars, plates and trays. Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh is world famous for its range of brass items. A wide range of household items like pots, trays, bowls and decorative pieces are made here. Making of bronze sculptures is common in Palitana in Gujarat. The sculptures made here depict themes from Jain religion. In Rajasthan Jaipur is the main center for brass engraving and lacquering. Items such as photo frames, bowls, plates, boxes etc. Ethnic designs and floral patterns, hunting scenes etc are hammered or embossed on the surface. Madhya Pradesh has its own traditional metal ware tradition. Andhra Pradesh has a rich tradition of metal craft. Andhra Pradesh is also famous for Bidri ware. Silver filigree work from Andhra and Orissa is famous for its intricate designs made out thin silver wires. Brassware from Tamil Nadu comprises of decorated traditional lamps, used in religious functions, while Kerala is famous for its polished bronze mirrors.

Department of Posts released a set of six commemorative stamps, Miniature Sheet and Sheetlet on Indian Metal Crafts on 26th August 2016. Set of six stamps depicts Iron Surahi (pitcher) and Bronze Nataraja (depiction of the God Shiva performing divine dance), Copper Pandan (container used to store betel leaf, betel nut, dry tobacco, lime etc.), Brass Incense Burner, Silver Spouted Lota (spherical water vessel) and Gold Gajalakshmi Lamp (lamp with motif of Lakshmi, the deity of wealth).

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