Ben Janssens Oriental Art - Indian and Souteast Asian Art
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Silver covered bottle

India, 18th century
Height: 12 3/4 inches, 32.5 cm

Silver covered bottleA silver bottle with fluted globular body supported on a tapered foot. It has a long, facetted neck rising from the gadrooned rim with a band of graciously curving lappets. The domed lid has a small, pointed finial. The neck has an attached ring, to accommodate a chain (now missing).

This well-proportioned silver bottle displays aesthetics that owe more to contemporary architecture than to metalwork. The dimpling on the otherwise plain surface shows that the bottle was made by planishing the silver. The shape of both this bottle and the larger example on the next page, originates in Persia. With the spread of the Islamic culture it arrived in India where it was called a surahi, which translates as wine bottle (Sura is the Sanskrit word for wine). Bottles such as these, however, were more commonly used for water or rosewater, often during religious ceremonies. A similar bottle is illustrated by Zebrowski

1 See: Gold, Silver and Bronze from Mughal India by Mark Zebrowski (London 1997) plate 25, p. 47
Design by Keenan Design Associates

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