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Wine cup

Wine cup

  • Place of origin:

    Mughal empire (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1650 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    White nephrite jade

  • Museum number:

    02561 (IS)

  • Gallery location:

    South Asia, Room 41, case 19

This wine cup of pure white nephrite jade must have been made at the court of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (r. 1628-58). Its naturalistic shape resembling a halved gourd resembles that of the famous wine cup incised with the emperor's titles, also in the V&A (IS.12-1962) and the quality and style of the floral decoration are all consistent with other pieces made during his reign.
The cup came from the collection of Colonel Charles Seton Guthrie, much of which was bought by the Indian Museum in 1868, and was transferred to the South Kensington Museum in 1879.

Physical description

The cup is of asymmetrical lobed form resembling a halved gourd. Its five tapering lobes converge towards the spiral stem that forms the cup's handle. Five acanthus leaves run from the base, one curling outwards to form a minute volute projecting from the side of the cup in an echo of the shape of the handle. The base is in the form of a lotus blossom in high relief, with a stem emerging from behind the acanthus leaves, and two narcissus flowers.

Place of Origin

Mughal empire (made)


ca. 1650 (made)



Materials and Techniques

White nephrite jade


Length: 13.3 cm, Width: 8.2 cm

Object history note

From the collection of Colonel Guthrie.

Descriptive line

White nephrite jade, Mughal. Period of Shah Jahan (1628-58)

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

p. 118, cat. no. 357. Rosemary Crill
The Indian heritage : court life & arts under Mughal rule : Victoria & Albert Museum 21 April-22 August 1982. [London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1982] Number: 0905209206 (pbk.)
Susan Stronge, 'Colonel Guthrie's collection', Oriental Art, vol. XXXIX, 1993-4, No. 4, fig. 4, p. 7.
p. 227, cat. no. 1139
The art of India and Pakistan, a commemorative catalogue of the exhibition held at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1947-8. Edited by Sir Leigh Ashton. London: Faber and Faber, [1950]
The Indian Heritage. Court life and Arts under Mughal Rule London: The Victoria and Albert Museum, 1982 Number: ISBN 0 906969 26 3

Labels and date

JADE CUP: White nephrite jade, carved, Mughal. Period of Shah Jahan (1628-58) [Nehru Gallery, 2001]




Drinking; India Museum


South & South East Asia Collection

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