Covered Bowl with Prayers
Bowl with Cover
1700s, Mughal dynasty (1526–1857)
Deccan Plateau, India
Zinc with applied silver
Bj Averitt Islamic Art Fund in memory of Ruth F. Averitt, with additional funds from the Florence R. and Ralph L. Burgess Trust,
This lidded bowl is made in a metalwork technique called Bidriware, specific to the Deccan Plateau in central India, which involves engraving darkened zinc and inlaying precious metals. The precise origins of this technique are obscure, but by at least the seventeenth century it was a valued product of the city of Bidar, which lent its name to this style. The well of the bowl is intricately covered with prayers that suggest it was created for a Shi’ite Muslim patron. The Deccan Plateau was brought under Muslim control in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, first by Turkic rulers of the Delhi Sultanate, and then by rulers of the Mughal Empire who brought Persian cultural influences. This piece is therefore a blending of local materials with imported culture.