Ritual Water Silver Vase (Kalasha)
First Half of the 19th century
height: 12cm, diameter at widest point (approx.): 12cm, weight: 436g
This very fine water vase is of high-grade and possibly pure silver. It has a slightly elongated globular body, a rounded base, a thin neck that opens to a wider mouth. Unusually, the sides have been hammered with slight fluting,
The base is stamped with the word ‘Bombay’ and two other indistinct marks one of which is ‘?F & Co.’ which is the maker’s name. Stamps like these made with metal dyes were used by European-owned forms in colonial India, particularly during the first half of the nineteenth century.
Water vases (
kalashas) like this usually hold water for ritual use. Their wide, lipped mouths also allow for a coconut to be balanced on top, often in conjunction with a coronet of mango leaves, in which case the ensemble is referred to as a purna-kalasha, purna-kumbha or a purna-ghata.
The vase is in excellent condition. It has a fine age and use related patina.
Wilkinson, W.R.T, Indian Colonial Silver: European Silversmiths in India (1790-1860) and their Marks, Argent Press, 1973.Provenance:
UK art market
Inventory no.: 3136