The sale of a rare intact Mughal gilt-decorated glass hookah base by Bonhams has brought to light the growing popularity of Hookah. The 18th century Hookah glass base was auctioned at Bonhams Islamic and Indian Sale and fetched a whopping £234,000 ($356,700)! More than 20 times its pre-sale estimate price of £8,000-£12,000 ($12,200 -$18,300)! The 19.5cm tall gilded green glass bowl has a globular body and short cylindrical neck with a rib. The glass base is adorned with a frieze of poppy plants alternating with cypress trees reserved in gilt. The history of the hookah base states that it first belonged to John Clough (1904-1947), an avid collector of Indian furniture and works of art and High Court Judge in Calcutta. Over the years, it passed down to family members. And after seeing the price it fetched, the current owner must surely pleased with his decision of putting the hookah up for sale. Another item that fetched a high price much above its estimated sum was an illuminated 15th century Qur’an copied by Shaykh Hamdullah. It fetched a sum of £110,000 ($167,750).
The sale of the rare hookah must have been the main contributor to the success of the Bonhams sale that made a final total of £1.6m.