Sep 8, 2011

Friday finds ~ Antique Foot Scrubbers

Been a while since I went to my thrift and antique stores, hence the lack of friday finds on the blog...this time around it was an interesting dicovery online..and it is all about keeping your feet clean!!

Yes, it is about Foot scrubbers. I had a brush with this very beautiful piece recently. A fellow blogger recently held a contest where readers were asked to guess what the antique piece was :).

and the base
Amazing isnt it...

A little more digging later (phew!! thanks to google).. I found that  this object, called  "vajri", was from India  and probably from the early 18th and 19th C. to be These lovely pieces were used as foot scrubbers by women bathing in a local pond or the river. These vajris have bearings (tiny metal balls) inside and were designed to jingle or rattle while in use. This was to let people know to respect the bathing women's privacy and stay away from that area (source: a friend's grandmother :))!!! I wish she had one and i could have it from her :P
( I am sure there must be similar ones in existence long before the 17th century. India had a flourishing civilization with indoor plumbing etc almost 5000 years ago!- remember Indus civilization - Mohenjadaro and Haraapa!)

Antique brass ones seem to have been quite popular and were made in many shapes and decorated with an animal motif, for e.g. peacock, elephant, lion, etc.  The sculpted base are what makes them functional and gentle to use. 

A few other shapes :-)

lots more!!

Having such pretty foot scrubbers indicate the exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail in Indian Handicraft...I am swept off my feet :P

Not sure if it related...but Vajri in Sanskrith means Thunder or even Lord Indra ..Let me know if you have any idea how the name for the foot scrubber must have been derived :) 

Before I say adios! a reminder about the giveaway : Here

PS: silly me..i asked for the paati's inputs after i posted my answer on the co-blog.:). 


  1. Those are absolutely gorgeous, and their history is fascinating. I would have guessed that being concerned that your heels were nice and soft was a fairly recent thing. I also love the part about the noise they make so that a woman could bathe in private.

  2. Beautiful find! Love the foot scrubber with Annapakshi sculpted on top.

    I envy Indian ladies of the 18th and 19th century :) Peaceful mornings by the river bank.. with the sound of gushing water and chirping birds, feet dipped in the running water, giving soothing massages with the foot scrubber, while the other foot immersed in water is cleansed by tiny river fish... chatting away with other lady friends.. This would have been the best foot spa massage anytime :)

  3. Exquisite craftsmanship.Wish I could own one of these pieces.

  4. OOPS!!! Sudha Looks like you did not see Rajee Sood's contest - where she posted these pictures to guess what these are and win them and the contest is on till the 11th Sept. OH HO HO !!!! now the cat is out of the bag :-).

  5. OK I read now that you know abt the contest :-)

  6. thanks girls :)...and was why i dint specify the blog and the contest details :)

  7. wow..this is gorgeous.great find. looks so beautiful...

  8. wow. i would want some of those foot scrubs... much more rich looking than the modern shapeless stone things!

    Thanks for dropping by the blog.. really great finds and interesting collection!

  9. These are really beautiful. They would make great decor pieces.

  10. Absolutely stunning!! I saw these on Rajees.. and didnt have a clue.. Totally loved this.. post.. Sudha!! I love all your posts.. full of information.. wow!! :-)

  11. Beautiful ones ! wouldnt have guessed. Very interesting information.


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