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  • Country of Origin: India
  • Price Range: £50000+
  • Date: late 17th century
  • Size: Length 27.5 x Width 6.5 cm / 10.8 in x 2.5 in


Stronge, Susan, entries in “The Indian Heritage. Court Life and Arts under Mughal rule.” The Victoria & Albert Museum, London, exhibition21 April-22 August 1982, Nos. 439-440.


Made in two curved sections, carved in relief with multiple animals, the nozzle formed as a pair of antelope’s heads mirrored over the upper and lower surfaces, the horns presented in openwork and the eyes inset with contrasting beads, and with a pair of tiger’s masks forward-facing at the rear of the nozzle section. The larger rear section encircled by carved decorative bands enclosing a panel on both sides, each filled with an antelope leaping through naturalistic foliage, tapering to a rear finial carved with a band of rear-facing elephant and tiger masks and drawn-out to a small antelope’s head terminal, and fitted with brass lever forming the nozzle-closure, pivoting against a simple spring and with a single loop for a suspension cord.

The earliest datable flasks of this type are in the former Saxon Electoral collections in Dresden. The two flasks in question were recorded in 1658 in the inventory of the collection of Prince Elector Johann Georg II. Another two examples are in the National Museum, Copenhagen, one in the inventory of 1690 and each recorded there by 1737. Another is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (07.71).

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