Hookah Base

Hookah Base

c. 1700

Gold on blue glass

Overall: 19.8 cm (7 13/16 in.)

Cornelia Blakemore Warner Fund 1961.44

Location

Exhibition

Art of the Islamic World (Islamic art rotation)

Did you know?

The neckpiece was made separately and attached to the blown glass bowl.

Description

Smoking tobacco was introduced to the Mughal court from Iran in the very early 1600s and soon became popular. This base formed part of a hookah, or water pipe, which consisted of a base that held water—sometimes perfumed with herbs or fresh fruit—a detachable bowl to hold tobacco, and a long tube. Early hookahs used existing vessels for bases, including coconut shells. By the late 1600s or early 1700s, richly decorated pieces like this were produced. The striking gold poppies on a cobalt blue background might indicate that opium was used in the hookah.

See also
Collection: 
Indian Art
Type of artwork: 
Glass

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