With introduction of tufang or muzzle-loaders, a gun-powder flask or primer for firing the gun became a necessity and these were made of a variety of material such as metal, nautilus shell, wood and even ivory.

The gun powder flask seen here, fashioned in the shape of a leaping antelope, is a superb example especially for the concept it represents. The nobility of the period indulged extensively in hunting this very animal. The carver must have been quite sensitive to the animal poise during such hunts to have faithfully captured it. But besides the theme it represents, it is interesting that the medium - ivory which is used in creating sublime objects as delicate art is used to create an object used in a violent sport despite its beauty.


  • Title: Barut-dan
  • Date Created: 17th century CE
  • Physical Dimensions: length: 22.5 cms
  • Medium: Ivory
  • Collection: Sir Ratan Tata Art Collection
  • Accession Number: 22.3822

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