Hindu Ritual Lota with Spout

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Size (WxDxH): 8 x 6.2 x 6.5 inches
Medium: Copper
Origin: Andhra Pradesh


This is a cast copper, Hindu ritual lota with spout, engraved with fish and geometric designs and probably from Andhra Pradesh. The lota has a wide mouth, with jutting rim, a bulbous chamber and flared recessed foot. The decorative engraved motifs, which help define it as Deccan, (as many of these spouted lotas were plain), include lappets on the mouth and at the base of the body. Around the central chamber are engraved repeating fish designs as well as repeating lappets bands and geometric designs.
The etched script on it is in Oriya and on the right side says “2/2/96 Ganga Bhagirathi Prayag. Shri Brushav Dwivedi. Ni; Kaantaai.” The left side is difficult to decipher. These kind of contemporary inscriptions can be found on older pieces, as owners would make inscriptions on heirlooms to commemorate a pilgrimage they had completed. Similar lotas can be found in the British Museum and in Mark Zebrowski's "Gold, Silver and Bronze from Mughal India", cat. 349, p.217.
Such lotas were commonly used during worship to dispense holy water, but were also used to keep water at the entrance of the house, so that visitors could wash. The shape was meant to minimize water loss, as it has only a small aperture to pour, and also so the water would not be touched or contaminated.