Lamp with Large Parakeet Finial

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Size: 8 x 8 x 27 inches
Medium: Brass
Origin: Tamil Nadu


This is a lost-wax cast brass, standing oil lamp from Tamil Nadu with an unusually large parakeet finial. The parakeet has beautiful, engraved details of feathers, crest and necklaces. Parakeets have been celebrated as messengers, storytellers, and teachers as early as the Vedas and Puranas. Below the finial is an oil well with five petal-like protrusions for the wicks. The balustrade stem is beautifully designed with interspersed flat disc motifs and kumbha-like cushion elements. At the base is a circular drip pan with a ring foot.
The ancient art of lost-wax casting dates back nearly 6000 years in India. First, an artist creates an original model from wax. Everything is then encased with layers of clay, thus becoming a mould for the molten metal that will be poured inside it. When this is poured in, the wax melts and the original is lost. Once the metal hardens, the outer layer of clay is smashed, which is what makes each piece unique.