From Kashmir, this copper kashkul, or beggar's bowl, is enameled with two shades of blue and white, is incised along the edges with scrolling designs and the entire copper areas are gilded. The body of the bowl has heavy repousse designs, with enamel in the recessed areas. The two ends of the bowl are decorated with the heads of serpents, their bodies partially wrapped around the bowl. The two heads and rings are brass, with blue enamel decoration. The body rests upon a curved pedestal base, also with incised designs around the top and bottom.
It measures 13 1/2" wide, 9" high, and is 7" wide.
The copper body is visible from the bottom, and the edges of the rims show copper where gold has been worn, all visible in photos.
Condition is very good, no losses or significant damage to the enamel. The interior was also partially gilded, the bottom showing some verdigris and mineral residue.
Such enamel work from Kashmir is highly prized, and only the finest pieces are gilded and decorated in this manner.
The Kashkul is a specific form of beggar's bowls, carried by Sufi muslim mystics, used for collecting alms and as food containers in their travels. The bowls represented giving up of worldly possessions and following a spiritual path. More often these bowls are simple forms, some of coconut shells, coco-de-mer shells, brass, copper or wood, but some were elaborate like this one, of silver, copper, bronze, with fine decoration and gilding.
This kashkul is exceptional in both size and quality, in remarkable condition for its age. Dates to 19th century, possibly earlier.
Please see all photos for details and email any questions. Additional photos available on request.