Inventory no.: 359

Indian Chambu Lota Holy Water Vase


Engraved Brass Chambu Lota

Varanasi (Benaras) or Rajasthan, India

18th-19th century

height: 16cm, diameter: 15.5cm

This lota is of squat globular form and is designed to hold water. The form is most associated with the holy city of Varanasi where pilgrims were able to purchase such vessels to carry and hold water from the Ganges River.

The body is engraved with five bands of motifs showing variously ceremonial symbols and avatars of Vishnu. The base has a futher border of lotus petals and the foot is engraved with script. The inside of the mouth of the

lota is engraved with a lotus petal motif.


A lota of similar form but from the 18th century Benares is illustrated in Harle, J.C. & A. Topsfield, Indian Art in the Ashmolean Museum, Ashmolean Museum, 1987, p. 65. One of almost identical form is illustrated in Aryan, S., Unknown Masterpieces of Indian Folk and Tribal Art, KC Aryan’s Home of Folk Art, 2005, p. 149. This example is ascribed to eighteenth century Rajasthan.

Inventory no.: 359