Gold and silver tape beater at work
Photographer: Narayen, Shivashanker
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a gold and silver tape beater at work in India, taken by Shivashanker Narayen in c. 1873, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections. This image was shown at the Vienna Universal Exhibition of the same year. The worker here is beating gold and silver wires (tinsel) into flattened tape on a low anvil with a small hammer. The work is carried out extremely quickly and without missing any sections of the wire drawn off the holding reel. The tapes are used as decoration on a wide range of garments and may be sewn onto or threaded through woven fabrics. It was held that metal threads from India were less likely to tarnish than similar products from other sources.