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TWO INDIAN 18th CENTURY LEAPING FISH

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TWO INDIAN 18th CENTURY LEAPING FISH

Made as huqqas quite possibly for ladies

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TWO INDIAN 18th CENTURY LEAPING FISH

18th / 19th Century

Length 17 cm height 10 cm width 4.5 cm ( 6.75 x 4 x 2 in )
Length 11 cm height 15 cm width 3.5 cm (11 x 15 x 3.5 in )

These two tinned brass huqqas are modelled as leaping fish with incised scales and almond shaped eyes. Their makara type mouths hold the socket for the burner while another socket projects from under their throats to attach to the mouthpiece.

The fish is a common motif in Indian art; in Hinduism it is the form taken by Matsya, fish avatar of Vishnu, while in Islamic India the fish was an emblem of the Shia Kingdom of Oudh (Avadh) appearing on flags, heraldry and coinage. It is often suggested that smaller portable huqqas like these were made for ladies.

Bibliography:
For a very similar example in the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide see 'Realms of Wonder: Jain, Hindu and Islamic Art of India p.171 James Bennet (ed.), pub. Adelaide 2013

1864

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