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Maharaja’s Parcel-Gilt Silver Plate Processional Fly Whisk Holder
India
19th century

length: 38cm, weight: 262g

This particularly refined fly which holder (fly whisk - chamara, chauri or chowri) would have had a Himalayan yak tail or something similar attached into the
open cup, and would have been used at courtly processions, borne by an official known as a
chamardar. Terlinden (1987, p. 66) says that after the umbrella,
the fly whisk was the most solemn symbol of kingship in India.

The long tapering handle has been cast with six facets down its length. The handle terminates at one end with a closed flower bud terminal that has been
engraved and gilded.

The head of the whisk handle has been beautifully cast and chiselled with a lotus petal cup and a pierced acanthus leaf border, all parcel gilt.

The holder has a fine patina and minor scuffs here and there from age and use. Overall, it is in a fine condition and is without repairs.

References:
Jackson, A., & A. Jaffer, Maharaja: The Splendour of India's Royal Courts, V&A Publishing, 2009.
Terlinden, C.,
Mughal Silver Magnificence, Antalga, 1987.

Provenance: UK art market

Inventory no.: 4540

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