Bidri water pipe base
This bell-shaped bottle is the basis of a hookah or hubble-bubble. With its large flat bottom and strong bell-shaped silhouette, it is a sturdy object. In addition, it represents a luxury item because of the decoration technique. This water reservoir comes from the region of Bidar in India. Local craftsmen make the so-called Bidriware, a metal technique that has been famous for centuries. Iron objects with a small addition of copper and zinc are engraved on the visible side. This decoration is then filled with silver. This creates a beautiful nuance between two metal shades. Next to vases and jugs, the production of water pipe reservoirs and sometimes even the pipe bowls has been important. This bell-shaped bottle is the most common hookah base in terms of type. As a form not rare, but the rich application of the Bidri technique makes the object luxurious and most attractive. The decoration is in a horror vacui: the entire surface of the reservoir is provided with silver inlay. Note the circular bands with beautiful scrolls between which birds can be seen, which are the frame of the main representation. The central motif is formed by three standing medallions filled with plant motifs, the space between the ovals shows a few temples complemented by different animals hidden in leaf branches on the baseline. What counts for this Bidri work is the richer the better.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 24.278Permalink