The Wine Cup of Emperor Jahangir
Northern India; Mughal, 1607–8 (dated AH 1016)
H. 5.5cm; W. 7.4cm
This wine cup is the earliest dated jade artefact that can be linked without doubt to any Mughal emperor. It has three bands of calligraphy – the central band, carved in monumental sols script, has a royal dedication announcing that the cup was made for Jahangir; the upper border, in nasta’liq script, confirms that it was the personal cup of the emperor and was made in the second year of his reign, therefore between April 1607 and March 1608.
Persian verses ornament the cup, including some contemporary 17th-century poetry, and it is suggested that the poet responsible was the maker of the cup itself. The superintendent of the royal goldsmiths at the time was also rewarded by Jahangir for his skills as a poet.