22 May 2008,
London, King Street
Price realised GBP 29,300
Estimate GBP 20,000 - GBP 40,000
AN INDIAN MUGHAL SILVER BATH
Of cylindrical form, with slightly sloping everted rim and two simple handles, the interior with small applied floral panel at the base
29¼ in. (74.2 cm.) diam.; 28¼ in. (71.6 cm.) high
1,080 oz. (30,500 g.) approx.
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The Jai Vilas palace in Gwalior is one of the most ambitious of India's classically inspired residences. It was built to celebrate the Prince of Wales's visit in 1876, and designed by Colonel Sir Michael Filose.
Silver is viewed as an important 'pure' metal in Hindu ritual. The god Ganesha is often depicted in silver medals, it is auspicious to gift silver on Dhanteras (the start of the festival of Diwali), and Hindus who use silver coins to perform their ritual prayers consider them sacred. Thus it is likely that this impressive silver bath held religious significance as well as being a sign of great wealth and luxury afforded only by Indian royalty.
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Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior, by repute.