Three Mughal Gilt Glass Bottles
This set of three finely gilded mould-blown square bottles with silver stoppers are decorated in a striking tessellating scheme of diamonds on all four sides of the body, whilst the sloping shoulders are decorated with floral motifs between two zig-zag borders around the edges in gold. There are also pointed designs in gold around the narrow neck.
The shape of these bottles derives from Dutch and German moulded vessels, produced primarily in the second half of the seventeenth century, which were stored in compartments inside large cases. Hence, these shorter Indian bottles have become known as “case bottles” or “gin bottles”.1
Similar Indian bottles were influenced particularly by the Dutch style when the Dutch East India Company established a factory in Gujarat in 1618.2 By the mid-eighteenth century, a glass factory was opened in Bhuj by Ram Singh Malam, a Gujarati craftsman, who, after spending some time in the Netherlands, found a patron in Maharao Lakha, the ruler of the small Kingdom of Kutch.
1 Stefano Carboni. 2001. Glass from Islamic Lands. London: Thames & Hudson. p.389.
2 Stefano Carboni. 2001. “Glass in the Age of the Empires”. In Glass of the Sultans, edited by Stefano Carboni and David Whitehouse, 275-298. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. p.287.