In Their Cups

Rare materials point to the varied territories and trade networks of Babur’s world. Quarried in Central Asia, the deep green jade of a squat, dragon-handled jug was popular across the Timurid lands. A bowl-shaped wine cup made of agate is inscribed with a poem for Sultan Husayn Mirza Bayqara, comparing the splashes of his wine to whorls of semiprecious stone. He holds a similar cup in a painting of his harem.

Wine cup of Sultan Husayn-Mirza Bayqara
Historic Iran, present-day Afghanistan, Herat, 1470
Lent by the Art and History Collection