Enquiry about object: 4832

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Madras Colonial Indian Silver Water Pot Lota

Madras, South India
circa 1890

height: 9cm, weight: 141g



UK art market

This small vase in the form of a traditional Indian lota or water pot, is interesting for the unusual motifs with which it has been chased.

It has been executed in the ‘swami’ style whereby Hindu gods and deities were appropriated in stylised form to decorate silver, but the central band also comprises seven roundels chased with Indian artisans going about their trade. The styling almost has Masonic overtones, and one of the roundels does include an artisan with a compass and a square – two of the emblems associated with the Freemasons. (‘Swami’ ware is most associated with the Madras firm P. Orr & Sons.)

The decoration is very well done; indeed a lot of effort and precision has been expended on executing this small, quality item.

The vase sits on a flat foot and the base is engraved with some type of script.

The vase is in excellent condition.


Dehejia, V., Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj, Mapin, 2008.

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