Spouted Lota

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Size (WxDxH): 11.7 x 9 x 11 inches
Medium: Bronze
Origin: North Karnataka


This is a rare, large, Deccan, bronze spouted lota or water vessel from North Karnataka. It is bulbous shaped, which Mark Zebrowski describes as “southern [sic Indian] rotundity”, and has a high shoulder and wide flared neck. A comparable example can be found in Mark Zebrowski's "Gold, Silver and Bronze from Mughal India", cat. 349, p.217, which is also attributed to the Deccan.
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.