Description & Technical information

This hookah base is made of transparent glass, which has a bell-shaped body, a slim neck, a drip-guard and a slightly flaring rim. Apart from the lower neck, which is free of decoration, the entire surface has a decorative scheme containing silver appliqué that form distinctive shapes. The rim has vegetal motifs pieced together by silver beads framing red and green glass, while the central band of the body is made up of repeating shapes called “peacock feathers” with circular green or red glass beads set in the centre of each shape. The shoulder and foot have concentric bands decorated with leaf patterns attached to a wavy stem. The leaves have teardrop shaped green and red glass beads set in the centre. 
Although the shape of the hookah base is commonly produced in India in the eighteenth or nineteenth century, as seen from the comparative materials below, the decorative scheme involving the silver beads is distinctively unique. 

Comparative materials: 
Corning Museum of Glass, New York, 69.6.5.
Carboni, Stefano. Glass from Islamic Lands. London: Thames & Hudson in association with the al-Sabah Collection, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, Kuwait National Museum, 2001. (Cat.104c, LNS 11 G, p.382.)
Dikshit, Moreshwar Gangadhar. History of Indian Glass. Pandit Bhagwanlal Indraji Endowment Lectures. Bombay: University of Bombay, 1969. (Plate XIII, NMD 8:67)

Period:  18/19th century
Origin:  India
Medium: Glass with silver and coloured glass appliqué
Dimensions: 17 x 14 cm (6³/₄ x 5¹/₂ inches)
Provenance: From an English stately home