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Elliptical cup, 1400–1500

Elliptical cup, 1400-1500

Elliptical cup, 1400-1500. Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, or Afghanistan. Timurid period (approx. 1370-1505). Nephrite. The Avery Brundage Collection, B60J160.

Small container (durj), 1450

Small container (durj), 1450. Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, or Afghanistan. Timurid period (approx. 1370-1505). The Avery Brundage Collection, B60J619.

Elliptical cup, 1400-1500
Small container (durj), 1450

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, and he commissioned and placed a jade tombstone over the grave of Timur at the Gir-i Amir in Samarkand.