Mughal Jade Flask

SKU HE.0014

16th Century AD to 18th Century AD


13″ (33.0cm) high





Gallery Location



The Mughal Dynasty was founded by Zahiru al- Din Babur upon three successive victorious battles that allowed him to secure control of northern India. A Muslim minority in a Hindu land, the Mughal would rule India from 1526 to 1858. After Babur, each ruler managed to extend the Mughal dominance over the natives until the entire subcontinent was under their dominion, from the foothills of the Himalayas all the way to the southern tip of Cape Comorin. However, the 6th Munghal Emperor Aurangzeb (1618-1707) abandoned the religious tolerance that characterized the ruling principle of his ancestors and attempted to convert the whole of India to Islam. This deliberate change ignited numerous rebellions and as these revolts spread across the land, including groups that had been loyal to the Mughals for many generations, the arrival of the Europeans added further complications. The ambitions of the European powers extended beyond mere trade; their superior military potential and organization completely stripped soon after the Mughal of all naval power. The Mughal Dynasty continued becoming successively weaker with each consecutive ruler until the British, by exploiting the animosity towards each other, finally overcame both the Mughals and the native Hindus, thus ending a three hundred year period of Muslim rule on the subcontinent. This sophisticated flask, a tubular neck on the globular body with a flat base, in made of light green Nephrite jade. Nephrite jade was the stone exclusively used by the Mughals to produce jade -as opposed to Jadeite- objects, principally coming from Kashar in Central Asia. What makes this delicate piece unique is the distinctive quality of its smoothness, which feels almost sensuous, whereas the colour conveys harmony and peace of mind. Scarcely decorated by a floral arabesque on the shoulder, such simplicity radiates elegance and sophistication, establishing also a mastery of form.

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