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cup

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1959,1120.1

  • Description

    Jade cup; carved from nephrite and polished; inscribed with the name Ulugh-Beg Kuragan, with later (Ottoman) silver repair.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1420-1449 (circa)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 6.4 centimetres
    • Width: 19.4 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        riqa'?
      • Inscription Position

        right side, below rim
      • Inscription Language

        Turkish
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Ulugh Beg Kuragan
  • Curator's comments

    This is a well-known piece in the scholarly literature on jade cups but its provenance is disputed. It may have been made in a provincial Central Asian jade-carving workshop, perhaps Samarkand (as was initially suggested in the first publication of this object by Ralph Pinder-Wilson and William Watson) in imitation or inspired by Chinese exemplars. The splayed leonine head of the handle is actually that of a hornless dragon called a 'chi' in Chinese.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Pinder-Wilson & Watson 1960a bibliographic details
    • Lentz & Lowry 1989a 124, pp.224, 354 bibliographic details
    • MacGregor 2010 74 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G34/26

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2015-2019 A History of the World -- PROMISED LOAN [rotation for annual loan up to 2 nonconsecutive years, dates TBC]
    2014 Sep-2015 Jan, BM WCEC, 'Ming: Courts and Contacts 1400-1450' PROMISED
    1989 13 Aug-5 Nov, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), 'Timur and the Princely Vision: Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century'
    1989 16 Apr-6 Jul, Washington, D.C., Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 'Timur and the Princely Vision: Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century'

  • Science

    See investigations 

    Analysis date

    18 March 1966 - 8 June 1966

    Analysis title

    Jade cup with inscribed silver plaque, Chinese

    Analysis outline

    Technical examination.

    See also PR01884, PR01885, PR01886 and PR01887.

    Same object as PR06212.

    Analysis materials group

    • Minerals & Precious Stones
    • Silver & Alloys
    • Stone

    Main type of investigation

    • X-Ray Diffraction

    Analysis reference number

    PR01886

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1959

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1959,1120.1

Cup. Dragon and inscription of name Ulugh Beg Kuragan. Made of jade, Ottoman silver repair.

3/4: Right

Cup. Dragon and inscription of name Ulugh Beg Kuragan. Made of jade, Ottoman silver repair.

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Object reference number: RRC14368

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