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Tinsel workers

Tinsel workers

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1895

Shelfmark: Photo 15/10(6)

Item number: 6

Length: 14.9

Width: 20.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of tinsel workers in Jammu & Kashmir in India, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1890s. This image shows three seated workers with the tools of their trade. The tinsel wires are made of silver, or silver coated with gold leaf, and made into a bar in the shape of a candle, which is then forced through a series of holes on a steel plate to obtain increasingly fine-gauged lengths. Traditionally the wire was then wound onto a reel, as seen in the photograph, attached at the other end to a jantar, another steel plate, which allowed for futher refining of the gauge, and wires no thicker than a hair were obtained this way. A tola (180 grains of metal) usually produced 600 to 1,200 yards of wire.

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