Pair of Mughal Gilt Glass Bottles
A pair of opaque glass bottles with polychrome gilt decoration of floral patterns and figurative scenes, probably representing particular stories. One bottle depicts a female holding a stringed instrument in her left hand whilst her right hand clutches a branch of a tree, a gesture that originates from the iconography of ancient Indic nature spirit, yakshi; in an opposite panel a woman is portrayed with a child. The other bottle depicts a man seated in a throne chair and a standing woman. All figures are depicted in profile, set against dense gilt foliage. The bejewelled women are depicted in Indian costumes with detailed textile patterns whilst the turbaned man wears a long caftan with a tied belt. The composition is entirely Indian in style. Two very similar bottles dating from the 18th century are in The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Accession Numbers VAM:1891a-1855 and VAM: 14-1867; illustrated in The Indian Heritage: Court Life and Arts Under Mughal Rule, London, 1982; The Al-Sabah Collection in the Kuwait National Museum, Accession Number LNS 82 G; and The Corning Museum of Glass, New York, Accession Number 59.1.583.