Inlaid Bidriware Lidded Flask

SKU AM.0368

18th Century AD to 19th Century AD


11″ (27.9cm) high x 6″ (15.2cm) wide





Gallery Location



Cast in blackened alloy of Zinc and Copper – an alloy that does not rust and allows for a better polish; inlaid by hand using a stylus with thin sheets of silver in an system of ornamentation known as bidri. This piece stems from the fabled East. India. Far realm of enchantment. Over the centuries, India has continued to send the rest of the civilised world much of that prized as rich and rare. Bidriware has been manufactured from at least 17th Century right up to the present day and is generally regarded by connoisseurs to be the highest art practiced in India, next to enamelling. Its name stems from the town of Bidar, where the technique was first used. The decorative registers that cover the surface include, asharfi-ki-booti, vine creepers, floral sprays, stylised poppy plant with flowers and phooljadi – small diagonal squares filled with flowers. They allude to the techniques’ Persian origins, having originally been introduced to India by the Mohammedans from Persia. Bidri is a form of damascening – named for Damascus, where the process was carried to perfection – a system of ornamentation that uses thin sheets of metal that are by undercutting and hammering incorporated with the surface it decorates. Bidri continues to be manufactured today and sets of vessels often form a part of a bride’s dowry.

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