Antique Indian Silver Fly Whisk Chauri Islamic Mughal India 18th Century

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Antique 18th century  Museum Quality slamic Mughal Indian,silver fly whisk (chamara, chauri or chowri) . Handmade in solid silver with hollowed interior and mounted with white yak's hair.

The cast and finely chiseled whisk head consist of a single beaded collar with a floral design below and two rows of casts and hand sculptured in relief stylized crowned animals' heads (each row with 31 heads, which come to 62 heads in total).

On the top of a tapered handle are mounted multiple bulbous rings; at the bottom, a finial composed of multiple bulbous rings surmounted by a faceted knob pierced with a hole for threading silk suspension string.

Most of the Indian silver fly whisks are made of wood coated with a thin sheet of silver. This fly whisk is made of thick silver.

The fly whisk had been a symbol of royalty from ancient times, and this symbol was adopted at an early stage in India's Islamic period.

During the Mughal period, the ruler appeared at courtly ceremonies, accompanied by an official known as a chamardar, who was bearing Chauri, which was the most solemn symbol of kingship after the umbrella in Mughal India and other Muslim monarchies, as far as North Africa.



1. A similar18th century silver fly whisk is in the collection of The L. A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art Jerusalem. Published in the Sotheby’s catalog Select Works from the L.A. Mayer Museum For Islamic Art’s. London. 27 & 28 October 2020. Page 120.lot.146

2.A related chauri dated to 18th century is published in the book: Gold, Silver & Bronze from Mughal India by Mark Zebrowski. Page.74. No.56.

3, A similar form fly whisk is published in the book "Tulips, Arabesques and Turbans: Decorative Arts from the Ottoman Empire" by YANNI PETSOPOULOS. Plate.27

The buyer will be provided with a copy of the pages from the mentioned references, together with a certificate of authenticity.

Authentic antique Mughal fly whisks are very rare, and few have survived to this day. They rarely appear in museum collections or for sale and are almost impossible to get.

PROVENANCE: Acquired from an old Canadian Collection of Islamic Art.


Overall length with the yak hair: 88 cm (34.65 inches)
Length of the handle: 38 cm (14.96 inches)

The diameter of the head:8.9 cm (3.5 inches)

WEIGHT: approximately: 7.18 grams (25.3267 Ounces).

CONDITION: It is in good condition for an antique silver fly whisk which over 200 years old. Showing age and usage with nice old patina. Minor dents to the head and the bottom finial. No repairs or restoration.

Please see all photos in the listing, as they are part of the item's condition description.

Item Details

Reference #:
Antiques (approx100yrs)
18th Century
(Width x Height X Depth)
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