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Elliptical cup
Place of Origin: Iran or Central Asia
Date: 1400-1450
Historical Period: Timurid period (1370-1506)
Materials: Nephrite
Dimensions: H. 2 1/2 in x W. 3 7/8 in x D. 4 5/8 in, H. 6.4 cm x W. 9.8 cm x D. 11.7 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: West Asian Art
Collection: Jade And Stones
Object Number: B60J160
On Display: Yes
Location: Gallery 7

Description

Label:

This cup rests on a low elliptical ring foot. An animal handle is positioned on its wide side. The ridges ornamenting the rim and the two sides, together with the hexagonal raised ornament in front are reminiscent of metal cups, which inspired this vessel. The dragon handle brings to mind the energetic dragons on Yuan and Ming dynasty jades. It is similar in style to the dragon handles of other jade cups, jugs, and sword hilts from the Timurid period (Lentz and Lowry, nos. 46, 51, 121, 122, and fig. 52; Pinder-Wilson, figs. 3–5, 8; Skelton, figs. 6–8).

The extant jade vessels from this period represent the earliest examples of jade from the Islamic world. Many of these jades are associated with Ulugh Beg (1394–1449), who was the grandson of Timur and had contacts with China. Ulugh Beg decorated his pavilion with Chinese porcelain (Pinder-Wilson [year?], 36), and he commissioned and placed a jade tombstone over the grave of Timur at the Gir-i Amir in Samarkand.


More Information

Exhibition History: "The House of Timur: Princely Arts in Fifteenth Century Iran and Central Asia", Sackler Gallery (4/14/1989-7/5/1989), LACMA (8/28/1989-10/30/1989)

"Gifts of the Sultan: Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts", LACMA (6/5/2011-9/11/2011), Houston Museum of Fine Arts (10/16/2011 - 1/16/2012), and Museum of Islamic Art, Doha (3/21/2012 - 6/2/2012)
Label:

This cup rests on a low elliptical ring foot. An animal handle is positioned on its wide side. The ridges ornamenting the rim and the two sides, together with the hexagonal raised ornament in front are reminiscent of metal cups, which inspired this vessel. The dragon handle brings to mind the energetic dragons on Yuan and Ming dynasty jades. It is similar in style to the dragon handles of other jade cups, jugs, and sword hilts from the Timurid period (Lentz and Lowry, nos. 46, 51, 121, 122, and fig. 52; Pinder-Wilson, figs. 3–5, 8; Skelton, figs. 6–8).

The extant jade vessels from this period represent the earliest examples of jade from the Islamic world. Many of these jades are associated with Ulugh Beg (1394–1449), who was the grandson of Timur and had contacts with China. Ulugh Beg decorated his pavilion with Chinese porcelain (Pinder-Wilson [year?], 36), and he commissioned and placed a jade tombstone over the grave of Timur at the Gir-i Amir in Samarkand.


Exhibition History: "The House of Timur: Princely Arts in Fifteenth Century Iran and Central Asia", Sackler Gallery (4/14/1989-7/5/1989), LACMA (8/28/1989-10/30/1989)

"Gifts of the Sultan: Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts", LACMA (6/5/2011-9/11/2011), Houston Museum of Fine Arts (10/16/2011 - 1/16/2012), and Museum of Islamic Art, Doha (3/21/2012 - 6/2/2012)
Resources:

Video: Timurid Jade Cup (Part 1 of 2): http://youtu.be/6lAwb7OdwH0
Video: Timurid Jade Cup (Part 2 of 2): http://youtu.be/l8Q821VbsRM

Qamar Adamjee, Associate Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art at the Asian Art Museum, discusses a Timurid jade cup, deemed a masterpiece in the Asian Art Museum's collection. A lecture presented by the Society for Asian Art on April 10, 2015.