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Fine & Large Solid Silver Cuspidor
Northern India
18th century

height: 33.4cm, diameter: 20cm, weight: 1,700g

This is the largest and most spectacular Mughal Indian cuspidor or spittoon that we have seen. It would have been used not atop a table but would have sat
on the floor, most probably in a royal palace.  It is beautifully constructed from solid, high-grade silver that has been hammered, chased and engraved. The
silver content is likely to be high than sterling. Such vessels were used in conjunction with betel nut and chewing tobacco. Today, it would make a fine flower
vase.

The vase sits on a flared foot, and rises to a ribbed, bulbous body, from which a long trumpet-like neck and mouth emerge.

The top of the bulbous body has been chased with a fine acanthus-leaf border.

The top and bottom of the foot section, and the top and bottom of the neck section, have been finely engraved with borders of interlaced flower and leaf motifs

The top of the foot has been inscribed in what is likely to be Gujarati script. There is an additional, shorter inscription on the underside of the foot.

The vase is in excellent condition. The surface of the silver has a fine patina. At more than one-and-a-half kilograms, the vase weighs more than it need to - it
is surprisingly heavy in the hand, pointing to its likely aristocratic or noble provenance. Overall, this is a superb piece.

References:
Terlinden, C., Mughal Silver Magnificence, Antalga, 1987.

Provenance: private English owner, Spain.

Inventory no.: 4520 SOLD

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