While the conch shell is an important ritual implement in both Hindu and Buddhist tradition, as Vishnu's trumpet or as a libation instrument often elaborated with silver mounts, relatively few carved examples are known. M. Lerner, in The Flame and the Lotus, 1985, cat. no. 29, illustrates three circa 11th century examples attributed to Northern India. The subject matter of the rishis likely relate to the constellation Saptarishi, residing in the Big Dipper. Compare to another conch with a similar scene sold at Sotheby's New York, 28 March 1996, lot 119.