Flowers are one of the most beautiful and colourful creations in nature. Everybody loves flowers and we use them for various purposes. Flowers are an essential part of the Hindu way of doing ritual prayers known as “Pooja”. Hindu scriptures say that essentially any of the three things namely “Pushpam”, “Phalam”, and “Toyam” meaning flower, fruit, and water should be offered to God. The first place is given to flowers for offering to God as Hindus believe that flowers are the most preferred and favourite offerings for God. Devotees place flowers or flower garlands on the idol or picture of the God. They decorate the pooja room or the temple with flowers. Flowers are very delicate in nature and have to be handled carefully. Mutilated flowers and withered flowers are not fit for pooja. Hence, flower baskets are used to hold the plucked flowers from the plants, to carry the flowers to temples for pooja, or to keep the flowers at the location of pooja. The flower baskets are called “Poola Sajja” in Telugu language. I have collected some of the antique brass flower baskets and in this article I would like to share pictures and details of the same with you.
Antique Brass Flower Basket with Handle
The antique brass flower basket with handle shown in the image above is normally used to carry flowers to the temple for performing pooja to the temple deity. The basket holds the flowers and the handle is convenient to carry the basket. This basket is hexagonal in shape with the front and back sides wider than the left and right sides. There are perforated uniform designs all over the body of the basket. The handle is made of brass sheet reinforced for strength with a groove. The entire basket is handmade. It is made into three sections i.e. the base, the sides of the basket, and the handle. All three sections are separately fabricated and joined together by hand with lock forming technique. There are four brass knobs that are riveted to the bottom base plate that serve as legs to keep the basket above the ground. The design has also taken care of providing two small bowls riveted to the handle to contain Pasupu (turmeric powder) and KumKum (vermilion powder) for pooja purpose. This Poola Sajja is from our family pooja room and I have inherited this from my mother. It should easily be around 70 years old or more.
Dimensions: Length 7’’, Width 5”, and Height with handle 7”, and without handle 2.5”.
Antique Brass Flower Basket with Four Semi-circular Sides
This flower basket has a charming and unique shape with four semi-circular side walls for the bowl. The basket is exquisitely hand made with brass metal sheet. The top edges of the side walls of the basket are skilfully rolled to have strong and smooth rim. The brass sheet-metal work is joined by hand pressing using lock forming technique. The basket is made by joining two parts that are bottom brass plate and a perforated brass sheet work for sides. The bottom has four brass knobs riveted to the bottom brass plate to serve as legs to the bowl. This basket is ideally used to hold flowers that are used for pooja in the house or at religious rituals. This “Poola Sajja” was purchased by me from an antique shop in Chennai city, India. It must be roughly around 60 years old.
Dimensions: Length 8”, Width 7”, and Height 2.7”.
Antique Brass Flower Basket with Curved Diamond Shape
This antique brass flower basket has a unique curved diamond shape. The base of the basket has an enchanting carved design with the same diamond shape. The walls of the basket have a series of brass art work resembling a flower bouquet. The legs of the basket also have carvings with flowers. The art work itself indicates that the basket is designed by the artist meant to be used as flower basket. This antique brass flower basket is suited to carry to the garden to hold and store the plucked flowers. The basket can also be used to keep the flowers in the pooja room or to decorate a place of worship with flowers.
I first saw this flower basket in the pooja room of my dear friend at Chennai in the year 1983. That was nearly 30 years back. I was told that this item was in their family since the past 50 years. So presently this must be around 80 years old. The moment I saw it, I liked the basket. I casually asked my friend Viswanathan, whom we affectionately used to call as “Vishu”, whether I can have the item in my collection. He said he would just have a word with his mother and let me know. I forgot about it and we continued with the casual conversation and dinner. While leaving, as I was about to say goodbye, he handed me a neatly packed parcel. I asked him what it was. He smiled and told me that it was the same flower basket that I had enquired about earlier. I was surprised and taken aback. I hesitated and asked him to get his mother’s permission. I was sure she wouldn’t be too happy to part with it. Vishu was well aware of my passion for collecting antique items. He just smiled and assured me that he had checked with his mother and she happily agreed to give it to me.
Sadly, about two years after that day, Vishu passed away. He had a premature death due to heart problem. Now whenever I see the flower basket given by him, I always see his smiling face. This is one antique that is really close to my heart.
Dimensions: Length 15”, Width 9.5”, and Height 2.5”
Oval Shape Antique Brass Flower Basket
This flower basket is wonderfully designed with a combination of round base and an oval shaped top. The base is round in shape and the walls of the basket open up to an elegant oval shaped rim. There is a collapsible handle to the basket which can be raised when required and lowered when not required. There is a beautifully engraved design all around the inside section of the basket. This cute basket is perfectly suited to keep small flowers like Jasmine or parijatham.
Dimensions: Round base 2” diameter, Top oval shape length 6”, Height without handle 2”, Height with handle 5”.