Thewa Jewellery

What is Thewa:

Thewa literally means "setting". Thewa is the art of fusing 22k Gold with multicolored glass.Each unit consists of a flat piece of transparent glass of different colors suggesting ruby,emerald and sapphire. A Patterned sheet of pure gold is fused onto this colored glass to create a unit.

Where is Thewa Jewelry Made:

The art of Thewa work came to be in Pratapgarh four hundred years ago and has ever since developed under the patronage it received from the rulers.For generations, artisans in Pratapgarh have produced extraordinary objects of ornamental and utility value using the Thewa technique.

How is Thewa Jewellery Made:

In the late 19th and early 20th century Theva work was erroneously described as a form of enameling by the surveyors of arts and crafts of India. In fact, it does not resemble enameling either in appearance or technique.

The colors of glass used commonly, are red, blue and green, due to the non-availability of other colors. The desired piece of glass is encased in a frame of gold plated silver wire. A paper-thin sheet of gold, of the same size as the glass, is cut and a free hand sketch of floral or historical motifs is made on it, by special tools. It is then dipped in acid for a while and washed thoroughly with water. A mixture of cinnamon oil and another material known as 'Ratti' is brushed at the back, to prevent the metal from melting. The glass is then semi fused and the pattern in gold is carefully slipped over the edge and pressed onto the surface of the glass. The ornamental piece is reheated, till the gold and glass join firmly together. A thin silver foil is fixed on the other side, in order to give it a uniform luster.
The simple raw materials and technique used stand in sharp contrast to the high quality effect of the finished object; no other form of art depicts with such meticulous detail the day-to-day life, legends, battlefields and hunting scenes on such a tiny surface.Because of the royal patronage, the themes and symbols used reflected the taste and concerns of royalty. Some of the common motifs are the hunting scene with elephants and palanquins, deer and lions, Maharana Pratap riding his famous horse Chetak, soldiers engaged in war, Krishna with his gopis, peacocks and royal weddings.

Thewa Art Jewellery has been appreciated for its fine work nationally and internationally. Thewa technique has won nine National Awards since 1966.The most exquisite articles of Thewa work can be seen in the Metropolitan Museum, New York. These articles were made about 100 years ago. There is a large plaque in the collection of the Geological Museum in London and the Queen of England has, in her personal belongings, an intricate casket, with extremely narrative panels.
Thewa Work on Jewellery Box
Thewa Work on Jewellery Box

The Thewa work is one of the many fine examples of our glorious past and also a constant reminder of our heritage, where human skill was nurtured with supreme precision and care.The amount of work,time and skill that goes into handcrafting each marvelous piece of jewellery accounts for a major part of its price.