Base for a Water Pipe (Huqqa) with Poetry and Flowers

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 463

The inlaid brass and silver decoration is placed in diagonal cartouches running along the body of the huqqa base, with Persian verses praising tobacco in nasta‘liq script. The poem on the body of the base consists of eleven rhymed couplets which contain several playful puns referring to the relaxation resulting from smoking a huqqa. This style of ornamentation with flowers and line-breaks resembles that in Deccani manuscript illuminations. It is rare to have inlaid calligraphy in bidri ware. This is thus an unusual piece.

Base for a Water Pipe (Huqqa) with Poetry and Flowers, Zinc alloy; cast, engraved, inlaid with silver and brass (bidri ware)

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