A rare brass inlaid alloy Pilgrim Flask Probably Deccan, 16th/ 17th Century
Lot 193
A rare brass inlaid alloy Pilgrim Flask
Probably Deccan, 16th/ 17th Century
Sold for £9,375 (US$ 12,595) inc. premium

Lot Details
A rare brass inlaid alloy Pilgrim Flask
Probably Deccan, 16th/ 17th Century
of typical crescent form with scrolling terminals, long flaring neck and faceted splayed foot, engraved and decorated in brass inlay to both sides with a cartouche in the form of two interlinked circles containing a band of foliate motifs, the cartouche terminating in a pendant in the form of a shield filled with fish-scale design, the rim and edges with a band containing an arcade formed from palmettes

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Formerly in the Simon Digby collection.

    The form of such flasks was developed during the Sultanate period, or perhaps earlier, as a solution to the need for carrying water on long journeys or into battle. It is likely to derive from the goatskin containers used to carry water which are depicted in Indian and Persian miniatures. A folio from the Maghreb Anis al-Hujjaj (The Pilgrim's Companion) by Safi ibn Vali in the Nasser D. Khalili Collection, depicts a caravan of pilgrims and is dated to c. 1677-80 (see Venetia Porter (Ed.), Hajj, Journey to the heart of Islam, p. 153, fig. 106). Whilst there are numerous known examples of brass flasks of this shape, the present lot is rare being made of lead alloy inlaid with brass.
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