Wine cup of Jahangir
Nephrite jade, Mughal, dated 1022 AH/1613-14 AD.
This wine cup of dark green nephrite jade was owned by the Mughal emperor Jahangir (r.1605-1627), whose name is included in the Persian verses incised in nasta'liq script round the rim and filled at a later date with white composition. The verses may be translated "Through the World-Conquering Shah, the world found order/ Our time became filled with light by the radiance of his justice/From the reflection of his spinel-coloured wine may/The jade cup be for ever like a ruby". The verses are interrupted by two quatrefoils containing the date according to the Muslim era (1022) and the emperor's regnal year (8) which together show that the cup was inscribed between 21 February and 6 August 1613. The quatrain includes a verse known to have been written by Sa'ida-ye Gilani, the head of the royal goldsmiths' department during the reign of Jahangir, who was also a master calligrapher who specialised in inscribing jade and precious stones. The writing on the cup also compares closely with that on a spinel known to have been calligraphed by Sa'ida, thus making it almost certain that he was the maker of the cup, as demonstrated by A.S. Melikian-Chirvani in "Sa'ida-ye Gilani and the Iranian Style Jades of Hindustan", Bulletin of the Asia Institute, New Series/Volume 13, 1999, , pp. 83-140.
Marks and inscriptions:
Az shah-e Jahangir, jahan yaft-e nezam [sana 1022]/......../az aks-e sharab-e la;l rangesh bada/yaqut-asa piyale-ye [sana 8] yashm-e modam.
Through the World-Conquering Shah, the world found order/ our time became filled with light by the radiance of his justice/ From the reflection of his spinel-coloured wine may/The jade cup be for ever like a ruby.
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