Probably for opium water
Mughal (Imperial workshops), North India
First half 17th Century
A rare cup carved from nephrite jade (variegated emerald green), this delicate opium cup belongs to a group of similar vessels (for wine and opium water), with five tapering lobes and a base formed by a raised lotus blossom, which were made in the imperial workshops in the first half of the 17th century. Most famous of the group is Shah Jahan's cup in the V&A Museum, London, with its handle in the form of a ram's head and dated 1657AD. Another white jade wine cup in the V&A Museum, and cups in the David collection, Copenhagen, and the LA County Museum of Art and two other small cups in the Al Sabah Collection, Kuwait are similar examples.These are also opium water vessels. The fashion for copying forms of nature in jade began during the reign of Jahangir (1605-1627).