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A Rare Large Nautilus Shell Indian Mughal Gujarati Gunpowder Flask ‘Barutdan’ the Coiled Shell Overlaid with Architectural Reliefs in Mother of Pearl Set with Brass Pins the Top Inlaid in a Petal Shape with Red Mastic the Nozzle Formed from Six Waved Moon Shells 

Two brass attachments to the side for a belt loop 

The wood stopper a replacement 

Probably made for the internal Mughal market

17th Century

Size: 18.5cm high, 16cm wide, 11.5cm deep - 7¼ ins high, 6¼ ins wide, 4½ ins deep 

Provenance:    

Ex Netherlands Private collection

Firearms introduced to the subcontinent of India by Muslim armies in the 16th century changed forever the ways in which Indians fought battles and hunted.

These new weapons also provided Indian craftsmen with a new opportunity to demonstrate their remarkable ability to embellish and adorn. Nowhere is this skill more evident than in these naturalistic and highly decorative, but functioning powder horns.

The shells of the Nautilus have been used in the decorative arts for centuries and the Gujarati artisans found it a particularly appealing material.

The pearly layers of the shell lend themselves to delicate sculpting and carving and although an essential hunting accessory, carrying charge powder for a musket, the exoticism of the material enriched the fashionable attire worn by the nobles of the Mughal court.
 

Dimensions

18.5cm high, 16cm wide, 11.5cm deep


Stock number

10/31
By appointment only

The BADA Standard

  • Since 1918, BADA has been the leading association for the antiques and fine art trade
  • Members are elected for their knowledge, integrity and quality of stock
  • Our clients are protected by BADA’s code of conduct
  • Our dealers’ membership is reviewed and renewed annually
  • Bada.org is a non-profit site: clients deal directly with members and they pay no hidden fees
Click here for more information on the BADA Standard