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Tall, Colonial Kashmiri Silver Flask

Kashmir, Northern India
circa 1880

height: 29.7cm, weight: 579g



UK art market

This finely made silver water flask 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 long, silver chain.

The body, neck and stopper are chased all over with meandering floral and foliage designs based on that of coriander plant. This ‘coriander’ pattern is very typical of colonial Kashmiri silverwork. Such work was undertaken to be sold locally, to the expatriate colonial market, but was also exported to London and elsewhere.

The form of such flasks was based on the or surahi or surai  flasks that were placed on dining tables during large banquets in Mughal and northern India to hold drinking water to which diners could help themselves.

The example here is in excellent condition.


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

Watt, G., Indian Art at Delhi 1903, Being the Official Catalogue of the Delhi Exhibition, 1902-1903, Superintendent of Government Printing, India, 1903.

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