plate (ritual & belief: ritual apparatus)

Square plate on four feet in Bidri ware, zinc alloy, with everted rim decorated with lotus flowers and bats. Decoration depicting Hindu deities, Surya and Savitri, riding a chariot drawn by six horses amid floral scrolling. Framed by a triple border, the central one with geometric motifs. The main motif is overlaid with silver sheet, then engraved, which is not traditional - normally the design would be inlaid. Long descriptive label and lot number on the reverse of the object.

Dr Strong said that she had never seen bidri ware with Hindu motifs on it. It tends to be a Muslim craft. This piece looks late, not much earlier than 1900. The National Museum in Delhi has two examples of Bidri ware with Hindu motifs, both discussed in Ali, Krishna. 1990 National Museum Collection, Bidri Ware. New Delhi: National Museum. However these examples are much older and stylistically very different, depicting narratives rather than a single deity. (See fig.171, p138 Acc. No. 85.12 ans 56.150/6.) August 2013. Could have been made for a colonial exhibition and may have been from a school of art.

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