Description The decoration of this powder flask, which includes a buck, an antelope, a lion, a bird, a boar, an elephant, and a mongoose, attests to a fascination with India’s wildlife. With the exception of the elephant, used as a hunting steed, these animals were regularly hunted in Mughal India. The decoration thus alludes to the object’s function: flasks holding gunpowder were essential firearm accessories in royal hunts. The lavishness of the materials, however, which originally included paint and gilding, and the refinement of its execution far exceed a purely utilitarian function.
Provenance Lucien Demotte [1906-1934], Paris; purchased by Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1925; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1925
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