Water Vase (Lota), 17th-18th century

Unknown artist, expand_more

This bulbous vessel merges the classical Indian form of a water vessel with the Persian- inspired type of metal inlay known as Bidri. A popular luxury item under the Islamic Sultanate Kingdoms of the Deccan Plateau (about 1300s–1700s CE), bidriware is unique to the subcontinent. It involves a complicated chemical process in which the base metal is blackened to offset the dazzling pattern of the inlay. Here, the combination of brass and silver inlay, known as ganga-yamuna, refers to respective hues of north India’s two great rivers, the Ganges and the Yamuna, which in Hindu (Brahmanist) traditions are worshipped as goddesses. Floral sprays and fluttering birds further evoke a spirit of bounty.

Water Vase (Lota)
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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