228. A Rare Shah Jahan-Period Jade Spoon

India, Deccan or Mughal,
second quarter 17th century
Size: 19.5 cm long

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The bowl of the spoon is carved of pale green jade in a cusped leaf form, with a frieze of tri-lobal leaves at its base where it joins the handle of black jade. The curved handle has a peacock’s head finial, an interlocking lotus-petal design along its upper surface, and fluting along its underside.

Better known but less refined is the long-handled green jade ladle in the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, confiscated at the Revolution from the collection of Charles Paul Jean-Baptiste Bourgevin Vialart de Moligny, comte de Saint-Morys. A small jade spoon inset with rubies and emeralds in the al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, also has a bird-head finial. Other related examples are in the Khalili Collection and the al-Thani Collection.

Manuel Keene, Treasury of the World, Jewelled Arts of India in the Age of the Mughals, Thames and Hudson, 2001, no. 2.13

J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam, Treasures from the Khalili Collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2007, no. 327

Moura Carvalho, Khalili Collection, London, 2010, pp. 86–7

The Al-Thani Collection, Beyond Extravagance, A Royal Collection of Gems and Jewels, Amin Jaffer (ed.), Assouline, 2013, nos. 22, 23

Jade, des Empereurs à l’Art Deco, Huei-chung Tsao (ed.), Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet, Paris, 2016, no. 169