Bidri huqqa base with a waist, taihnishan work.
Bidar, known for its Bidri work is situated North West of Hyderabad, in Karnataka. The basic material used is an alloy of zinc, copper and lead which is not susceptible to corrosion, but is brittle and liable to break if dropped. There are five phases in the production of a piece of Bidri casting, polishing, engraving, inlaying and blackening the alloy. Bidri designs are usually patterns such as the Asharfi-ki-booti, stars, vine creepers and styled poppy plants and floral motifs. Traditional designs include the Persian Rose and passages from the Quran in the Arabic script.
The sparkle of sliver designs on Bidri ware against a contrasting black background on articles of everyday use always attract attention and has always been admired by the art connoisseurs. This class of damascene or encrustation derives its name from the town of Bidar which once was part of Hyderabad state till the States Re-organisation in 1956.
The Bidri wares of the Salar Jung Museum are of varied types, both in their designing and also in their workmanship. They may be divided into separate groups according to their house-hold use and to their variety of workmanship. Distinct in shapes and designs and also in number, the huqqa (hubble-bubbles) form an important part of the Bidri Ware collection of the Museum. They may be accepted as very representative and n workmanship have excellent examples of all the media; tarkashi, taihnishan, zarnishan, zarbuland and aftabi. The collection has a few examples of gold inlay also.