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Indian & South Asian Bowls

Bowls from India and Southeast Asia represent a diversity of styles ranging from utilitarian to ornate and are made of a variety of media including bronze and clay. Bowls from India and South Asia are highly sought after for their intricately detailed metalwork and mastery of ceramics.

Dating back to the Neolithic period, Indian bowls were used for ritual purposes and everyday life as containers for liquids such as water, milk, and beer. While these bowls were fabricated largely for function, their adornment with geometric designs as well as plant and animal motifs suggests that their aesthetic appeal was also highly valued.

The Indus Valley civilization in particular is renowned for their contributions to the evolution of pottery, including the employment of the wheel as a means of fabricating clay bowls. India continues to produce excellent handcrafted clay and terracotta bowls that reflect the nation’s longstanding history while taking advantage of modern technologies.

Quick Facts

  • Unglazed pottery represents the oldest type of bowl fabricated in India. With their walls measuring only a few centimeters in depth and often incised with elaborate patterns, these antiquities maintain their popularity for their historic value and intrinsic beauty
  • Terracotta represents one of the oldest materials used in the fabrication of Indian bowls and remains a staple in the production of contemporary earthenware vessels
  • During the Mogul period, Persians introduced papier-mâché to Indian craftsmen, and the practice quickly became integral in the construction of Indian decorative bowls. Indian artisans have since evolved the craft

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