The ceremonial Zoroastrian Muktad bowl carries an estimate of £10,000–15,000 at Barbara Kirk Auctions in Penzance on November 22.
Muktad bowls are used for prayer ceremonials during the 10 days before the Parsee New Year when the Parsees welcome the souls of the departed back to the Fire Temples. Each soul resides in a bowl, filled daily with fresh water.
This 48oz example is particularly fine.
It is worked with a scene of the Persian King Darius the Great based on the carved stone relief at Behistun and carries an elaborate peacock ‘signature’ of the maker to the base. Two others are recorded in museum collections, with another held in the stock of a specialist London dealer.