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Jul 19, 2021

Bidri Hookah Bowl with Roses

Bidri Hookah Bowl with Roses

c. 1650s

Zinc alloy with silver and brass inlay

Diameter: 16.5 cm (6 1/2 in.); height: 18.5 cm (7 5/16 in.)

Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2020.207


Did you know?

Bidri ware is cast from condensed vapors of zinc mined from Sawar in Rajasthan.


Hookah bowls were used for the enjoyment of tobacco or any other smoked substance during moments of relaxation. They were also aesthetic objects to be admired in elite gatherings of connoisseurs. The flowering rose bushes on this fine early example, made shortly after the introduction of tobacco-smoking in India, would have called to mind celebrated poetical works, such as the Gulistan (Rose Garden) of Sa'di (Persian, 1210–1291 or 1292).

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