Conch Shell Water Vessel
Shell, silver gilt, gold, enamel, precious stones and glass
Length 20cm, width 9cm, depth 7cm
Museum no. 819-1894
Used in a number of Brahmanic ceremonies to pour blessed water over a recipient. In the past these included the top-knot cutting ceremony, marking a child's coming of age. Conches are also used today at Thai marriages where water is poured over the hands of bride and groom. In ancient Indian Hinduism the conch was a symbol of sovereignty and power.