Chased Silver Water Flask (Surahi)
height: 24cm, diameter: 14cm, weight: 345g
This finely made silver water flask or surahi or surai sits on a low ring foot, has a flattened globular body, a thin tapering neck and a domed stopper surmounted by a bud finial. The stopper is attached to the body by a silver chain. The body, neck and stopper are chased all over with arabesque cartouches in-filled with floral and foliage designs based on the coriander plant – an overall design known as the ‘mosaic pattern’. The lower part of the base has a wide lotus petal border that similarly is in-filled. The fine chasing is typical of Kashmiri silver work.
Bottles such as this example were placed on dining tables during large banquets and held drinking water to which diners could help themselves.
Overall, the condition is very good with no splits of repairs.
Indian Art at Delhi 1903, Being the Official Catalogue of the Delhi Exhibition, 1902-1903, Superintendent of Government Printing, India, 1903.
Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj, Mapin, 2008.
from a private UK collection.
Inventory no.: 1209
The coriander plant in flower. The chased motifs on this silver flask are based on the leaves and flowers of this plant.