FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING
{"id":5362709659798,"title":"Antique Indian Bidri Hookah\/huqqa Fluted, Silver Inlay Deccan India, 1800-1825","handle":"antique-indian-bidri-hookah-huqqa-fluted-silver-inlay-deccan-india-1800-1825","description":"\u003cp\u003eThis fine Bidri hookah base is extremely handsome with fine fluting and elegant proportions. The lustrous silver inlay against the matte black background creates a high contrast and gives the object a dramatic appearance. The form of the vessel itself and the ornamentation is very complex.  The ornament consists of stylised flowers and geometric patterns which have been laid out in an orderly radial manner with a uniform and rhythmic repetition of the panels and patterns around the hookah base resulting in this harmonious and balanced design.  All aspects of the craftsmanship are very good, particularly when one considers that most of the surface is not flat and working the inlay into the steep sides between the tight flutes must have been immensely difficult.  This hookah would have been made in the Deccan, in either Hyderabad or Bidar, and is believed to date to the early years of the 19\u003csup\u003eth\u003c\/sup\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ecentury.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe hookah has been inlaid with silver throughout, from the very top to the very bottom, with hardly any of the surface unadorned, using three of the six common bidri inlay techniques.  There is linear tarkashi wire inlay to the rim and a chevron pattern repeating all down the neck to the flanged knop. This continues below the knop and down the upper part of the stem. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAt the point where the foliate elements begin, koftgiri inlay is introduced: inlaid leaf shapes have been cut from sheet silver and hammered into a corresponding depression chiselled out of the metal base.  Weaving through the foliage of the creeper and all the way down to the bottom is an undulating silver wire stem in tarkashi inlay. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAs the stem flares out towards the base, the individual flutes or ribs become broader and flatter.  As the space for ornament along the rib increases the design becomes floral and as the width grows outwards to the base, there is a corresponding increase in the size of the flower which ornaments it.  Two different flower designs have been used with only one of the designs used on each rib, alternating with the other floral design used on adjacent ribs. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAt the vertical point where these floral designs started, there are four large overlaid flower designs around the perimeter of the hookah.   For these, the aftabi inlay technique has been used with the cut out design overlaid onto the metal base, lying slightly proud of the surface, which was presumably the final stage of the inlay before polishing.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAccording to Indian oral history, the technique of bidri inlay originated in Iran and was brought to India in the 15th century by the Bahamani ruler Ala’uddin Bahamani. Bahamani brought craftsmen from Bijapur and established them in Bidar.  The oldest examples of bidri which can be seen today in museums only date as far back as the 17th century with no earlier examples known to have survived.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eDuring the 17th and 18th centuries, Bidri objects were highly prized and produced for Indian Royalty.  Several paintings of the period depict Maharajas and courtiers at the royal courts of Deccan and Mughal India with bidri ware articles such as hookahs and boxes.  Other articles were also produced in bidri, particularly\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003ePandans, Lotas, Surahi, Thali\u003c\/em\u003e, shields and weaponry.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003ePandey explains the differences in the patterns deriving through the Islamic and the Hindu traditions. ‘The designs influenced with Persian pattern are circular flower with five petals, angles, lines, dots, spirals, creepers, chequer, fish scales etc. In Hindu pattern Swastic, lotus, human figures can be seen. Birds, animals, fishes are also depicted.’  He further comments that ‘The Nawabs, who rose to power on the ruins of the great Mughal Empire, seem to have been especially fond of Bidri and that is how at Lucknow, in Murshidabad and Purnea, Bidri workshops sprang up from the 18th century onwards.  Everywhere, however, the same six stages of the process ….. seem to have been followed equally by Muslim and Hindu craftsmen.’  Birdri was created by Muslims and by Hindus of the Lingayat sect. The Lingayats are a sect which devolved from Hinduism, becoming separate and breaking away from mainstream Hinduism with members worshipping Shiva exclusively.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe British public were first introduced to Bidri Wares at London’s 1851 Crystal Palace or ‘Great’ Exhibition and Markel quotes the writer and Victorian art critic, Owen Jones’, impressions of bidri hookahs \u003cem\u003e(huqqas\u003c\/em\u003e) he had seen there. Jones noted that ‘In the equal distribution of the surface ornament over the grounds, the Indians exhibit an instinct and perfection of drawing perfectly marvellous.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTo read more about Bidri Wares on our blog, please follow this link  \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.josephcohenantiques.com\/bidri-indian-inlay\/\"\u003ehttps:\/\/www.josephcohenantiques.com\/blogs\/on-the-blog\/bidri-indian-inlay\/\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eProvenance:-   \u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003eNorth American Art Market\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eDimensions:-\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e   Height 22 cms; Width 19cms\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eReferences:-\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eStephen A Markel, Bidri Ware [in LACMA]: Lyric Patterns\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMark Zebrowski, “Bidri:  Metalware from the Islamic Courts of India”, Art East, 1, 1982, pp. 27-ff\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eSusan Stronge, 1985. \u003cem\u003eBidri Ware: Inlaid Metalwork from India. \u003c\/em\u003eEdition, Victoria \u0026amp; Albert Museum\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOwen Jones, The Grammar of Ornament, Bernard Quaritch, London, 1868 pages 78-79\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eDr Anjali Pandey, Bidri Ware:  A Unique Craft of India, Vol 4 (Issue 3), International Journal of Research Granthaalayah, March 2016\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eB N Goswamy, Metalware from the South,‘Art and Soul, Spectrum, The Tribune, 7\u003csup\u003eth\u003c\/sup\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eAugust 2011\u003c\/p\u003e","published_at":"2020-06-21T14:43:30+01:00","created_at":"2020-06-21T20:17:47+01:00","vendor":"Joseph Cohen Antiques","type":"Hookah","tags":["Mughal And Deccani Silver"],"price":0,"price_min":0,"price_max":0,"available":false,"price_varies":false,"compare_at_price":null,"compare_at_price_min":0,"compare_at_price_max":0,"compare_at_price_varies":false,"variants":[{"id":34828097454230,"title":"Default Title","option1":"Default Title","option2":null,"option3":null,"sku":"","requires_shipping":true,"taxable":true,"featured_image":null,"available":false,"name":"Antique Indian Bidri Hookah\/huqqa Fluted, Silver Inlay Deccan India, 1800-1825","public_title":null,"options":["Default Title"],"price":0,"weight":0,"compare_at_price":null,"inventory_management":"shopify","barcode":""}],"images":["\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Antique-Indian-Bidri-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Silver-Inlay-Deccan-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767672","\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Antique-Indian-Bidri-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Silver-Inlay-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767672","\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Antique-Indian-Bidri-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Deccan-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767690","\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Indian-Antique-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Silver-Inlay-Deccan-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767719","\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Antique-Indian-Bidri-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767752","\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Antique-Indian-Bidri-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Silver-Inlay-Deccan-India.jpg?v=1592767783","\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Indian-Antique-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Silver-Inlay-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767815","\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Indian-Antique-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767840","\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Antique-Indian-Bidri-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Silver-Inlay-Deccan.jpg?v=1592767866"],"featured_image":"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Antique-Indian-Bidri-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Silver-Inlay-Deccan-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767672","options":["Title"],"media":[{"alt":"Antique Indian Bidri Hookahhuqqa Fluted Silver Inlay Deccan India 1800 1825","id":9664385745046,"position":1,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":1280,"width":1280,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Antique-Indian-Bidri-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Silver-Inlay-Deccan-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767618"},"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":1280,"media_type":"image","src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Antique-Indian-Bidri-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Silver-Inlay-Deccan-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767618","width":1280},{"alt":"Antique Indian Bidri Hookahhuqqa Fluted Silver Inlay India 1800 1825","id":9664392200342,"position":2,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"width":768,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Antique-Indian-Bidri-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Silver-Inlay-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767638"},"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"media_type":"image","src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Antique-Indian-Bidri-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Silver-Inlay-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767638","width":768},{"alt":"Antique Indian Bidri Hookahhuqqa Fluted Deccan India 1800 1825","id":9664398917782,"position":3,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"width":768,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Antique-Indian-Bidri-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Deccan-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767685"},"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"media_type":"image","src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Antique-Indian-Bidri-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Deccan-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767685","width":768},{"alt":"Indian Antique Hookahhuqqa Fluted Silver Inlay Deccan India 1800 1825","id":9664403570838,"position":4,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"width":768,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Indian-Antique-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Silver-Inlay-Deccan-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767714"},"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"media_type":"image","src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Indian-Antique-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Silver-Inlay-Deccan-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767714","width":768},{"alt":"Antique Indian Bidri Hookahhuqqa Fluted India 1800 1825","id":9664408584342,"position":5,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"width":768,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Antique-Indian-Bidri-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767748"},"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"media_type":"image","src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Antique-Indian-Bidri-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767748","width":768},{"alt":"Antique Indian Bidri Hookahhuqqa Fluted Silver Inlay Deccan India 1800 1825","id":9664411992214,"position":6,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"width":768,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Antique-Indian-Bidri-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Silver-Inlay-Deccan-India.jpg?v=1592767777"},"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"media_type":"image","src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Antique-Indian-Bidri-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Silver-Inlay-Deccan-India.jpg?v=1592767777","width":768},{"alt":"Indian Antique Hookahhuqqa Fluted Silver Inlay India 1800 1825","id":9664415891606,"position":7,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"width":768,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Indian-Antique-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Silver-Inlay-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767811"},"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"media_type":"image","src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Indian-Antique-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Silver-Inlay-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767811","width":768},{"alt":"Indian Antique Hookahhuqqa Fluted India 1800 1825","id":9664419201174,"position":8,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"width":768,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Indian-Antique-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767836"},"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"media_type":"image","src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Indian-Antique-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-India-1800-1825.jpg?v=1592767836","width":768},{"alt":"Antique Indian Bidri Hookahhuqqa Fluted Silver Inlay Deccan","id":9664421724310,"position":9,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"width":768,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Antique-Indian-Bidri-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Silver-Inlay-Deccan.jpg?v=1592767859"},"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":768,"media_type":"image","src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0124\/1507\/4394\/products\/Antique-Indian-Bidri-Hookahhuqqa-Fluted-Silver-Inlay-Deccan.jpg?v=1592767859","width":768}],"content":"\u003cp\u003eThis fine Bidri hookah base is extremely handsome with fine fluting and elegant proportions. The lustrous silver inlay against the matte black background creates a high contrast and gives the object a dramatic appearance. The form of the vessel itself and the ornamentation is very complex.  The ornament consists of stylised flowers and geometric patterns which have been laid out in an orderly radial manner with a uniform and rhythmic repetition of the panels and patterns around the hookah base resulting in this harmonious and balanced design.  All aspects of the craftsmanship are very good, particularly when one considers that most of the surface is not flat and working the inlay into the steep sides between the tight flutes must have been immensely difficult.  This hookah would have been made in the Deccan, in either Hyderabad or Bidar, and is believed to date to the early years of the 19\u003csup\u003eth\u003c\/sup\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003ecentury.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe hookah has been inlaid with silver throughout, from the very top to the very bottom, with hardly any of the surface unadorned, using three of the six common bidri inlay techniques.  There is linear tarkashi wire inlay to the rim and a chevron pattern repeating all down the neck to the flanged knop. This continues below the knop and down the upper part of the stem. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAt the point where the foliate elements begin, koftgiri inlay is introduced: inlaid leaf shapes have been cut from sheet silver and hammered into a corresponding depression chiselled out of the metal base.  Weaving through the foliage of the creeper and all the way down to the bottom is an undulating silver wire stem in tarkashi inlay. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAs the stem flares out towards the base, the individual flutes or ribs become broader and flatter.  As the space for ornament along the rib increases the design becomes floral and as the width grows outwards to the base, there is a corresponding increase in the size of the flower which ornaments it.  Two different flower designs have been used with only one of the designs used on each rib, alternating with the other floral design used on adjacent ribs. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAt the vertical point where these floral designs started, there are four large overlaid flower designs around the perimeter of the hookah.   For these, the aftabi inlay technique has been used with the cut out design overlaid onto the metal base, lying slightly proud of the surface, which was presumably the final stage of the inlay before polishing.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAccording to Indian oral history, the technique of bidri inlay originated in Iran and was brought to India in the 15th century by the Bahamani ruler Ala’uddin Bahamani. Bahamani brought craftsmen from Bijapur and established them in Bidar.  The oldest examples of bidri which can be seen today in museums only date as far back as the 17th century with no earlier examples known to have survived.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eDuring the 17th and 18th centuries, Bidri objects were highly prized and produced for Indian Royalty.  Several paintings of the period depict Maharajas and courtiers at the royal courts of Deccan and Mughal India with bidri ware articles such as hookahs and boxes.  Other articles were also produced in bidri, particularly\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cem\u003ePandans, Lotas, Surahi, Thali\u003c\/em\u003e, shields and weaponry.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003ePandey explains the differences in the patterns deriving through the Islamic and the Hindu traditions. ‘The designs influenced with Persian pattern are circular flower with five petals, angles, lines, dots, spirals, creepers, chequer, fish scales etc. In Hindu pattern Swastic, lotus, human figures can be seen. Birds, animals, fishes are also depicted.’  He further comments that ‘The Nawabs, who rose to power on the ruins of the great Mughal Empire, seem to have been especially fond of Bidri and that is how at Lucknow, in Murshidabad and Purnea, Bidri workshops sprang up from the 18th century onwards.  Everywhere, however, the same six stages of the process ….. seem to have been followed equally by Muslim and Hindu craftsmen.’  Birdri was created by Muslims and by Hindus of the Lingayat sect. The Lingayats are a sect which devolved from Hinduism, becoming separate and breaking away from mainstream Hinduism with members worshipping Shiva exclusively.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe British public were first introduced to Bidri Wares at London’s 1851 Crystal Palace or ‘Great’ Exhibition and Markel quotes the writer and Victorian art critic, Owen Jones’, impressions of bidri hookahs \u003cem\u003e(huqqas\u003c\/em\u003e) he had seen there. Jones noted that ‘In the equal distribution of the surface ornament over the grounds, the Indians exhibit an instinct and perfection of drawing perfectly marvellous.”\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTo read more about Bidri Wares on our blog, please follow this link  \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.josephcohenantiques.com\/bidri-indian-inlay\/\"\u003ehttps:\/\/www.josephcohenantiques.com\/blogs\/on-the-blog\/bidri-indian-inlay\/\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eProvenance:-   \u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003eNorth American Art Market\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003cem\u003eDimensions:-\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e   Height 22 cms; Width 19cms\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003eReferences:-\u003c\/em\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eStephen A Markel, Bidri Ware [in LACMA]: Lyric Patterns\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMark Zebrowski, “Bidri:  Metalware from the Islamic Courts of India”, Art East, 1, 1982, pp. 27-ff\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eSusan Stronge, 1985. \u003cem\u003eBidri Ware: Inlaid Metalwork from India. \u003c\/em\u003eEdition, Victoria \u0026amp; Albert Museum\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOwen Jones, The Grammar of Ornament, Bernard Quaritch, London, 1868 pages 78-79\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eDr Anjali Pandey, Bidri Ware:  A Unique Craft of India, Vol 4 (Issue 3), International Journal of Research Granthaalayah, March 2016\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eB N Goswamy, Metalware from the South,‘Art and Soul, Spectrum, The Tribune, 7\u003csup\u003eth\u003c\/sup\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eAugust 2011\u003c\/p\u003e"}

Antique Indian Bidri Hookah/huqqa Fluted, Silver Inlay Deccan India, 1800-1825

Product Description

This fine Bidri hookah base is extremely handsome with fine fluting and elegant proportions. The lustrous silver inlay against the matte black background creates a high contrast and gives the object a dramatic appearance. The form of the vessel itself and the ornamentation is very complex.  The ornament consists of stylised flowers and geometric patterns which have been laid out in an orderly radial manner with a uniform and rhythmic repetition of the panels and patterns around the hookah base resulting in this harmonious and balanced design.  All aspects of the craftsmanship are very good, particularly when one considers that most of the surface is not flat and working the inlay into the steep sides between the tight flutes must have been immensely difficult.  This hookah would have been made in the Deccan, in either Hyderabad or Bidar, and is believed to date to the early years of the 19th century.

The hookah has been inlaid with silver throughout, from the very top to the very bottom, with hardly any of the surface unadorned, using three of the six common bidri inlay techniques.  There is linear tarkashi wire inlay to the rim and a chevron pattern repeating all down the neck to the flanged knop. This continues below the knop and down the upper part of the stem. 

At the point where the foliate elements begin, koftgiri inlay is introduced: inlaid leaf shapes have been cut from sheet silver and hammered into a corresponding depression chiselled out of the metal base.  Weaving through the foliage of the creeper and all the way down to the bottom is an undulating silver wire stem in tarkashi inlay. 

As the stem flares out towards the base, the individual flutes or ribs become broader and flatter.  As the space for ornament along the rib increases the design becomes floral and as the width grows outwards to the base, there is a corresponding increase in the size of the flower which ornaments it.  Two different flower designs have been used with only one of the designs used on each rib, alternating with the other floral design used on adjacent ribs. 

At the vertical point where these floral designs started, there are four large overlaid flower designs around the perimeter of the hookah.   For these, the aftabi inlay technique has been used with the cut out design overlaid onto the metal base, lying slightly proud of the surface, which was presumably the final stage of the inlay before polishing.

According to Indian oral history, the technique of bidri inlay originated in Iran and was brought to India in the 15th century by the Bahamani ruler Ala’uddin Bahamani. Bahamani brought craftsmen from Bijapur and established them in Bidar.  The oldest examples of bidri which can be seen today in museums only date as far back as the 17th century with no earlier examples known to have survived.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Bidri objects were highly prized and produced for Indian Royalty.  Several paintings of the period depict Maharajas and courtiers at the royal courts of Deccan and Mughal India with bidri ware articles such as hookahs and boxes.  Other articles were also produced in bidri, particularly Pandans, Lotas, Surahi, Thali, shields and weaponry.

Pandey explains the differences in the patterns deriving through the Islamic and the Hindu traditions. ‘The designs influenced with Persian pattern are circular flower with five petals, angles, lines, dots, spirals, creepers, chequer, fish scales etc. In Hindu pattern Swastic, lotus, human figures can be seen. Birds, animals, fishes are also depicted.’  He further comments that ‘The Nawabs, who rose to power on the ruins of the great Mughal Empire, seem to have been especially fond of Bidri and that is how at Lucknow, in Murshidabad and Purnea, Bidri workshops sprang up from the 18th century onwards.  Everywhere, however, the same six stages of the process ….. seem to have been followed equally by Muslim and Hindu craftsmen.’  Birdri was created by Muslims and by Hindus of the Lingayat sect. The Lingayats are a sect which devolved from Hinduism, becoming separate and breaking away from mainstream Hinduism with members worshipping Shiva exclusively.

The British public were first introduced to Bidri Wares at London’s 1851 Crystal Palace or ‘Great’ Exhibition and Markel quotes the writer and Victorian art critic, Owen Jones’, impressions of bidri hookahs (huqqas) he had seen there. Jones noted that ‘In the equal distribution of the surface ornament over the grounds, the Indians exhibit an instinct and perfection of drawing perfectly marvellous.”

To read more about Bidri Wares on our blog, please follow this link  https://www.josephcohenantiques.com/blogs/on-the-blog/bidri-indian-inlay/


Provenance:-   North American Art Market

Dimensions:-   Height 22 cms; Width 19cms

References:-

Stephen A Markel, Bidri Ware [in LACMA]: Lyric Patterns

Mark Zebrowski, “Bidri:  Metalware from the Islamic Courts of India”, Art East, 1, 1982, pp. 27-ff

Susan Stronge, 1985. Bidri Ware: Inlaid Metalwork from India. Edition, Victoria & Albert Museum

Owen Jones, The Grammar of Ornament, Bernard Quaritch, London, 1868 pages 78-79

Dr Anjali Pandey, Bidri Ware:  A Unique Craft of India, Vol 4 (Issue 3), International Journal of Research Granthaalayah, March 2016

B N Goswamy, Metalware from the South,‘Art and Soul, Spectrum, The Tribune, 7th August 2011

SOLD
Maximum quantity available reached.

Related products