Chinese Craftsman working in Lucknow
- 19th century
Ivory & Ebony
A carved ivory & ebony group depicting a bearded snake charmer or sapera & his assistant surrounded by the paraphernalia of their trade. The snake charmer is seated on a rectangular terrace carrying a staff in his left hand & a rattle in his right hand. He can be seen looking through the ebony pupils of his eye staring at the confrontation between snake & mongoose. His full beard, necklace, earrings & massive turban beautifully depicted whilst his young assistant facing his master, carrying a staff, tries to control the situation between the ebony cobra & the mongoose. A small child can be seen next to the snake charmer with his head resting on the monkey’s head. Baskets, hookah, bottles, & a vessel for making opium paste are amongst the odds & ends of everyday life of a snake charmer. "The concept is clear: to depict a snake charmer, an everyday character of Indian life accurately with a minimum of artistic license." A similar group is in the State Museum in Patna.