The strong sculptural traditions of pre-Islamic India continued to some extent during the later period, when figural elements such as this parrot were used as finials and other types of embellishment. The informal choice of subject and the simplicity of style suggest that this piece probably belonged in a provincial, rather than imperial, court setting. Ubiquitous in Indian life and often depicted in Mughal and Deccan paintings, parrots were also known in literature of the Mughal period, such as in the Tutinama (Tales of a Parrot).
Robert W. and Lockwood De Forest, New York (until 1919; gifted to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Indian Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 18, 1973–April 1, 1973, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Courtly Radiance: Metalwork from Islamic India," September 25, 2001–May 5, 2002, no catalogue.
Zebrowski, Mark. Gold, Silver and Bronze from Mughal India. London: Laurence King Publishers, 1997. p. 98, ill. fig. 96 (b/w).
Date: late 17th–early 18th centuryMedium: Container: gold; pierced, repoussé, with cast legs and finials
Goa stone: compound of organic and inorganic materialsAccession: 2004.244a–dOn view in:Gallery 463