A Folk Art Iron Festival Lamp from Bastar, India: Delicately Rusted
ca. mid twentieth century
20" x 14 1/2" x 3", 51 cm x 37 cm x 7.5 cm
This is an elaborately constructed oil lamp made of thing gauge iron which comes from the Bastar district in Madya Pradesh, India.
The rusted lamp is intricately pieced together, showing six tiers, each bearing shallow cups that would have held oil/ghee and rolled wicks.
The ribs are scalloped and each of the tiers terminate on the outside by a forged hook, from which is suspended a dangling decorative which would have moved when this piece was moved. It is said to have been used during folk festivals in the region where it was made.
Some of the oil bearing cups are a bit fragile, but this is a beautiful piece of Indian folk art. Similar examples can be seen in "Unknown Masterpieces of Indian Folk & Tribal Art" by Subhashini Aryan, a catalog from the Museum of Folk, Tribal and Neglected Art in Gurgaon, India.
A beautifully crafted and wonderfully designed piece of folk art from rural India.