This very fine, enamelled silver hookah bowl cover (chilam) of squat globular form has been finely pierced all over and then decorated in bright pink, green, blue and yellow enamels with bird and flower motifs. It is the most pierced example that we have seen.
Lot 247, in Christie’s, ‘Arts of the Islamic and Indian Worlds’ London, April 7, 2011, comprised an enamelled chilam cover ascribed to Lucknow. This example can be seen here. Another, attributed to Lucknow, is illustrated in Markel et al (2010, p. 208).
The chilam cover is in fine condition. There are minor dents and enamel loss, but overall, it is a very good example with unusually fine and complex openwork.
Jackson, A., & A. Jaffer, Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts, V&A Publishing, 2009.
Markel, S. et al, India’s Fabled City: The Art of Courtly Lucknow, LACMA/DelMonico Books, 2010.