Mughal Copper Ewer
This tall copper ewer with its rich, deep red-chocolate patina has obvious great age. Made from beaten and cast copper it has a long, globular body etched to suggest ribs or gadoons and sits on a low, slightly flared concave foot. The long spout is etched with a geometric zig-zag pattern, as is the neck. The neck has a flattened, bulbous segment that is also etched. The handle has been cast with a deep spiral design. The lid is missing.
The shape of the ewer is similar to sixteenth century Turkish and Persian examples. The zig-zag design on the spout and body is found on several extant 16th and 17th century examples. (For this, see Zebrowski, M.,
Gold, Silver & Bronze From Mughal India, Alexandria Press, 1997 – illustrations 210, 214, 223.) This motif is based on the flow of water, or perhaps the scales of a cobra, a stylistic device often encountered in Mughal, Deccan and other Islamic architecture in northern India to decorate columns and even guttering.
Inventory no.: 695
Snake skin motifs in marble on the Taj Mahal, Agra, India.
Detail on a column at Fatehpur Sakti, the Mughal capial founded in 1571 and which predates Delhi.