A rare intact Mughal gilt-decorated glass Huqqa Base India, first half of 18th Century
Lot 432
A rare intact Mughal gilt-decorated glass Huqqa Base India, first half of 18th Century
Sold for £234,000 (US$ 378,964) inc. premium

Lot Details
A rare intact Mughal gilt-decorated glass Huqqa Base
India, first half of 18th Century
with globular body and short cylindrical neck with a rib, free-blown, tooled and gilded, the green glass body, with a frieze of poppy plants alternating with cypress trees reserved in gilt, the details painted onto the glass, the base and shoulder with a band of acanthus leaves, the moulding with lappets and the neck with poppy stems
19.5 cm. high

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    John Clough (1904-1947), High Court Judge in Calcutta (there is a memorial to him in St Paul's Cathedral, Calcutta), a collector of Indian furniture and works of art; Julian Clough, his twin brother, Head of the Calcutta Office for the large Scottish-based tea company, James Finlay, who later became Deputy Chairman of Finlays; and by descent to the present owner.

    Bidri hookah bases of the first half of the 17th Century became the models for those made in jade, enamel, metal and glass in Mughal India. The influence was seen not only in shape, but also in decoration, which almost invariable incorporated floral of vegetal motifs. A common design depicted was large flowering plants at intervals around the surface.

    Although glass hookah bases copied the two basic shapes of bidri – globular and bell-shaped – no hookah base has been attributed to the Deccan, where the form and decoration originated. Possible sites of manufacture have been suggested as Lucknow and a number of known centres of production in Gujarat, Bihar, Rajesthan, and Sind (Hyderabad).

    One of the earliest depictions of a glass hookah base appears in a painting of a shop in a bazaar that is thought to have been produced at Bikaner circa 1700 (Simon Digby, "A Corpus of 'Mughal' Glass" in Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 36, no.1, London, 1973, pp. 85 -86 and pl. 3).

    The present lot relates close to a piece in the Al-Sabah Collection Kuwait, also depicting varieties of poppy plants reserved on a gold ground in addition to the same shoulder and neck designs (Stefano Carboni, Glass from Islamic Lands, London, 2001, pp. 380-81, Cat. 104a).
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