Deccan Lota 02

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Size (WxDxH): 5.2 x 5.2 x 5.2 inches
Medium: Brass and Copper
Origin: North Karnataka / Andhra Pradesh


This striking cast and engraved Deccan bimetal lota or water vessel, has bands of plain copper interspersed with brass bands with geometric diamond shaped designs. At the base and hugging the neck are repeating lappets. This combination of both brass and copper is uniquely Indian and is called Ganga-Jamuna, a poetic reference to the contrasting colours of the water of the Ganges and Jamuna rivers. Similar shaped lotas can be found in Christie's, Bonhams and in Mark Zebrowski's "Gold, Silver and Bronze from Mughal India", cat.331, 332, p.211.
The lota is thought to be one of the most ancient Indian vessels, with archaeological discoveries of lotas dating to 1st or 2nd century BC. Early versions were often ridged or fluted, so it is thought that they took their shape from hollowed out melons or gourds that were used as water carriers, and this botanical origin continued to dictate its form. More than 1500 years later, lotas are still found, but the Mughal influence meant many had radically different ornamentation like the lota here.