Wine cup of Emperor Jahangir
Unknown artist, Indian, India
Wine cup of Emperor Jahangir, 1612-1613
Quartz and chromium muscovite
Helen M. Danforth Fund 84.163
Emperor Jahangir (reign 1605—1627) was a great patron of the arts whose fondness for wine was well known. The emperor also had a passion for objects made of jade or jadelike hardstones and is said to have owned five hundred such cups. This one is made from a rare hardstone, the carving of which would have required great skill and patience. The Persian inscription contains mystical allusions to imperial power and its connection with ‘the water of life’ (wine). Although drinking was forbidden in Islam, some Mughal rulers regarded it as a means of achieving spiritual transcendence.