4540

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    Maharaja’s Parcel-Gilt Silver-Plated Processional Fly Whisk Holder

    India
    19th century

    length: 38cm, weight: 262g

    Available Enquire

    Provenance

    UK art market

    This particularly refined silver-plated fly which holder (fly whisk –chamara, chauri orchowri) would have had a Himalayan yak tail or something similar attached into the open cup, and would have been used at courtly processions, borne by an official known as a chamardar. Terlinden (1987, p. 66) says that after the umbrella, the fly whisk was the most solemn symbol of kingship in India.

    The long tapering handle has been cast with six facets down its length. The handle terminates at one end with a closed flower bud terminal that has been engraved and gilded.

    The head of the whisk handle has been beautifully cast and chiselled with a lotus petal cup and a pierced acanthus leaf border, all parcel gilt.

    The holder has a fine patina and minor scuffs here and there from age and use. Overall, it is in a fine condition and is without repairs.

    References

    Jackson, A., & A. Jaffer, Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts, V&A Publishing, 2009.

    Terlinden, C., Mughal Silver Magnificence, Antalga, 1987.

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