All Collections
Previous Next
Back to Collection

Hookah Base

GLS 580 | Europe, probably England

Print Download

Artwork Details

Title: Hookah Base

Location: Europe, probably England

Materials: heavy lead glass, with some bubbles and impurities; blown, trail-decorated, pincered and tooled, with applied stamped medallions

Dimensions: 21 x 20.5cm

Accession Number: GLS 580

Other Notes:

The lead glass used for this hookah base and its decoration point to a European, probably English, provenance. The shape, however, is purely Mughal and derives from earlier 17th-century metal prototypes. The upper part of the neck is cylindrical, with a thickened rounded rim, while the lower part tapers sharply. Between them is a trailed horizontal flange or rib, and a trail below forms a moulding above the narrow, flattened shoulders. The body is spherical with a flattened, pushed-in base that retains a pontil mark.

The body is decorated with four vertical trails that run from the shoulders to the base. These have been tooled and pinched into ‘frills’ using patterned pincers. The same treatment can be seen on English soda and lead glass, as well as on façon de Venise glassware made in the Netherlands. Four medallions, each stamped with a double rosette in relief, are applied between the trails. The rosettes are made up of six dots and a central dot and have surrounds of stylized petals. These too appear on late 17th-century English glass.

An initial attempt to interest the Mughals in English glass seems, appropriately enough, to have been a fiasco. A letter from John Brown at Ahmadabad in Gujarat to the East India Company dated 10 February 16187 recounts that they had received, on spec, a ‘barrell of wyndowe glass’, evidently crown glass. Muqarrab Khan was anxious to use it, but there was no glazier at Surat, ‘they being gone to Persia and I woot not whither to less purpose’. A glazier was finally sent out, but without the necessary tools, so that a valuable opportunity of awakening Jahangir’s own interest was lost. This was evidently final, for later letters from the Company’s agents insist that there was no longer any demand for window glass at all.

Bibliography:

S.M. Goldstein et al, Glass. From Sasanian Antecedents to European Imitations, The Nasser D Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume XV, London 2005, cat.333, pp.311–12.

Related Artworks

Small Flask

JLY 1075
Jaipur, India

Youth in European Dress and Young Woman with Indian Headdress, from a Shahnamah

MSS 1000.1, MSS 1000.2
Isfahan, Iran

Dish

POT 684
Syria

Calligraphic Composition

CAL 154
Ottoman Turkey

Mail and Plate Shirt

MTW 1158
Northern Caucasus
for the Persian or Ottoman market

Two ‘Hands of Fatimah’

JLY 1923
India, possibly Hyderabad (Deccan)

Calligraphic Practice Sheet

CAL 266
Qazvin, Iran

Single Folio from a Four-part Qur’an

KFQ 90
Iran, Isfahan

Carpet with Star Medallions

TXT 213
Ushak, western Anatolia, Turkey

Mosque Lamp

GLS 572
Egypt

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 45
Middle East or North Africa

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 50
Middle East

Five Folios from a Qur’an

KFQ 52
Middle East or North Africa

Two Folios from the ‘Blue Qur’an’

KFQ 53
North Africa or Spain

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 60
probably the Hijaz

Two Bifolios from a Qur’an

KFQ 82
Middle East

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 93
Middle East or North Africa

Single Folio from a Large Qur’an

KFQ 96
probably North Africa

Single Folio from a Qur'an

KFQ 34
Middle East

Single Folio from a Qur’an

KFQ 84
Middle East or North Africa

Zoom

Close

Khalili Collections Logo

Share this page