This small, elegant lamp was used for Hindu puja (prayer) purposes. It is both in the form of a lotus bud and a flame.
The lotus bud is twisted around and as this is done, the hinged petals open to reveal a small dish for oil into which a wick would have been rested. Once used, the petals are twisted around again so that they return to their bud state.
The lamp sits on a flared, domed foot.
The lamp has a superb, dark patina. It is in excellent condition. The nut underneath that keeps the thread tightened for the petals no longer is present however.
Anderson, S., Flames of Devotion: Oil Lamps from South and Southeast Asia and the Himalayas, UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 2006.
Kelkar, D.G., Lamps of India, Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, India, 1961.
Rawson, P., Tantra, Arts Council of Great Britain, 1971.