Rare, cast bronze and engraved aquamanile as a zoomorphic fish, from North Karnataka
An aquamanile was a ewer or jug-type vessel (usually for water) in the form of one or more animal or human figures. This piece is cast in the round as a fish, with scales engraved across its body, and sits on a flared foot. At the top of the body is an engraved lotus with a raised button centre. The faceted handle has two parakeets on either side and a raised rectangular opening at the top to fill the ewer. This opening would probably have a lid but is now lost. Out of the fishes mouth issues the S shaped spout with a base of an open mouthed yali with a trunk like a hooded cobra. Size; height 11”, length 16.5”.
“In the hot climates of India and the middle east, this water bearing vessel had great importance.” Zebrowski. Both for religious as well as utilitarian purposes and it also appears often in miniatures, art and architecture. In Deccan and Mughal culture it is thought that ewers would have been used to pour scented water for guest to wash their hands.