Deccan Ceremonial Spoon

(inclusive of taxes)

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Size (WxDxH): 25.5 x 5 x 3 inches
Medium: Brass
Origin: North Karnataka


This is a large Deccan, cast brass ceremonial spoon from the Desayi community in North Karnataka. At the top of the handle near the bowl of the spoon is a Nandi, a lingam, and a protective cobra (snake) hood. On either side of this are two stylised parakeets. At the top of the handle and at the bottom are engraved yalis with a plaited and geometric diamond motif running down the length between them. Also at the top of the handle, is a small brass foot so the spoon handle does not rest on the floor, as it was felt this would be impure.
Desai or Desayi was a title given to feudal lords, revenue collectors, and others who were granted a village or group of villages, in North Karnataka, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. The title Desai was not associated with a particular religion or caste. It was given by Maratha emperors, Mughal emperors and by the Deccan sultanates.
Yali is a mythical creature seen in many South Indian temples, often sculpted onto the pillars. It may be portrayed as part lion, part elephant and part horse. Also, it has been sometimes described as a leogryph (part lion and part griffin), with some bird-like features. Nandi is the sacred bull calf, gatekeeper, and vehicle (vahana) of Lord Shiva. A lingam, sometimes referred to as linga or Shiva linga, is an abstract or aniconic representation of Shiva.