Hookah Base

early 1700s
Location: 116 Islamic
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Turquoise five-petaled flowers hang from lime green pedicels.


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 jewel-like decoration of blue and green blossoms evokes a garden in which a smoker might have sat.
Hookah Base

Hookah Base

early 1700s

India, Mughal Dynasty (1526-1756)

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