A_KANGXI_BLUE_AND_WHITE_HUQQA_BASE_WITH_ASSOCIATED_RINGSTAND_

A Kangxi blue and white huqqa base with  associated ringstand, China for the Indian market, 17th centuryPhoto Sotheby's

of squat bulbous form with narrow neck and mouth, the underglaze blue and white decoration composed of six brackets each enclosing a different flowering stem, the shoulder with a frieze of stylised flowerheads, the round base-ring with a sinuous vine on the concave and convex faces. 2.0. 15cm. Estimate 25,000-35,000 GBP. Unsold 

NOTE: The present huqqa base, of squat bulbous form and narrow neck, resembles similar pieces made for the Indian market. There are examples in glass, often with gilded decoration but, most famously and more numerously, are those made in bidriware, a corpus of works made from zinc alloy usually inlaid with silver taking the name from its association with the town of Bidar in the Deccan (Zebrowski 1997, pp.224-236). This form, which only appeared in India in the seventeenth century, became so popular that the response by the Chinese for such high demand was quick and even influential. 

Mark Zebrowski, in his discussion of the decoration of the bidriware pieces mentions a discernible Chinese influence in the designs used and, from this, it is tempting to imagine that the relation between the imitated Indian works and their Chinese imitators was possibly more symbiotic than linear (ibid., p.232).

This huqqa base also comprises a ring-stand, which is rare on such surviving huqqa bases. Even though this particular ring-stand may not have initially belonged to this huqqa base, it gives us an indication of its original appearance. 

Sotheby's. Arts of the Islamic World. London | 25 Apr 2012 www.sothebys.com