4699

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Bell-Metal Long Spouted Kindi

Kerala, South India
18th century

height: 13.6cm, length: 21cm, weight: 1,087g

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Provenance

private collection, UK

This highly sculptural lota vessel of brass-coloured bell metal is known as a kindi, and was used in Kerala to hold and dispense drinking water. The lips of the drinker did not actually touch the spout; instead the spout was used to pour water into the mouth from on high. They were also used for religious purposes too, to hold and dispense holy water.

The vessel sites on a flared and domed foot. It has a flattened, spherical body and a high neck with a flared collar that allows the top of the vessel to be gripped between the fingers. The spout is the most striking feature. It narrows and juts away from the body in an almost alarming fashion.

It is unadorned with decoration. Zebrowski (1997, p. 222) says of the kindi, that ‘most are paragons of spare, utilitarian elegance.’

A related example is illustrated in Zebrowski (p. 220).

The example here is in excellent condition.

References

Zebrowski, M., Gold, Silver & Bronze from Mughal India, Alexandria Press, 1997.

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