A gilt decorated glass flask, Uqqah, India, Lucknow, 18-19th century
Lot 260
A Mughal gilt-decorated glass Huqqa Base Lucknow, 18th Century
£15,000 - 20,000
US$ 25,000 - 34,000
Auction Details
A Mughal gilt-decorated glass Huqqa Base, Lucknow, India, 18th century
Lot Details
A Mughal gilt-decorated glass Huqqa Base
Lucknow, 18th Century
with globular body and short cylindrical neck with rib, free-blown, gilded, the clear glass body with a frieze of poppy plants, the base with scrolling grape vine, to the shoulder a band of containing zigzag motif with series of circles either side, to the neck a series of single poppy flowers
17.5 cm. high


  • Although a firm chronology for glass water-pipe bases cannot be established because no extant object bears a date, comparison with metal models indicates the production of globular glass bases began in the 17th Century. Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh was likely the most important centre of enamelled and gilded huqqa bases, either colourless, green, or blue.

    Two very close parallels in decoration and form are a blue glass huqqa base in the Cleveland Museum of Art 1961.44 (Stefano Carboni and David Whitehouse, Glass of the Sultans, New York, 2001, p. 284, no. 138); and a green glass example in the British Museum (illustrated in Ralph Pinder-Wilson, Glass From Islamic Lands, London, 1991, London, no. 104a), which Carboni suggests must have been produced in the same workshop in the 18th Century. All three bases contain the same decorative repertoire of six large flowering poppy plants, geometric band and single poppy flowers to neck; and all three contain numerous small bubbles. The present example is relatively heavy in comparison with 17th Century types, indicating the presence of lead in the glass which was typical of 18th Century glass production.

    A related though earlier green glass example was sold in these rooms (Bonhams, Islamic and Indian Art, London, 15 April, 2010, Lot 432).

    With thanks to Dr. Martine Newby for her assistance with the cataloguing of this lot.
  1. Matthew Thomas
    Specialist - Islamic and Indian Art
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7468 8270
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 8283