Of all the varieties of Mughal glass known, this milky white color constitutes the rarest type. The painted decoration in gold and silver (now darkened) displays flowering shrubs enclosed in oval compartments, laid out in a radiating pattern, a classic Mughal decorative scheme that is also seen in contemporary metalwork.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.
Use your arrow keys to navigate the tabs below, and your tab key to choose an item
Title:Footed Bowl and Plate
Date:first half 18th century
Geography:Made in India
Medium:Glass, opalescent white; blown, bowl with applied stem and blown applied foot, fired silver and gold decoration
Dimensions:Bowl - H. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm) W. 8 in. (20.3 cm) Dish - Diam. 10 in. (25.4 cm)
Credit Line:Purchase, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky Fund and The Annenberg Foundation Gift, 2000
Accession Number:2000.490a, b
Glass Bowl and Dish
Of all the different categories of Mughal glass, the milky-white color of this bowl and dish ensemble constitutes the rarest type. The opaque surfaces of the bowl and its matching tray are decorated with identical flowering shrubs enclosed within oval compartments, painted in two shades of gold and silver, now tarnished into a dark metallic gray. Although the cinched waist profile of the bowl is unusual, at least one metalwork example is known, including others depicted in contemporary paintings. The round, flat tray with everted rim, however, follows a classic Indian thali form, recalling earlier examples of bidri ware both in shape and decoration, especially in the radiating arrangement of flowering shrubs in compartments.
While little evidence of glass production from early India survives, the Mughal period saw a flourishing of this industry, in several cases stimulated by European, and in particular British, contact. Glass was fashioned into a number of types of objects including globular and bell-shaped hookah bases, square "gin" bottles, and assorted vessels, some of which were inported, and then painted and gilded to luminous effect. Glass workshops were located in Gujarat, Lucknow, Rajastan, and Sindh, where the technique of free blown and mold-blown glass was best known but also was accompanied by a revival in wheel-cut and more rarely twice-fired applied glass. The decoration of Mughal glass followed trends seen in the broader world of decorative arts and painting of the period including, as in this example, the classic combination of floral forms, in profile or silhouette against a plain ground, often incorporated within cartouches of varying shapes. The hallmark Mughal style first developed in floral painting studies of the Jahangir period (1605–27) and was adapted to the decorative arts in general under his successor Shah Jahan (1628–57) by about 1640.
Navina Haidar in [Topsfield 2004]
1. Dikshit, M. G., History of Indian Glass, Bombay, 1969, plts. XVII, XXIV, illustrating two other examples and with an overview of the develoment of Indian glass.
2. Zebrowski, M., Decanni Painting. London, 1983, fig. 53; also, there is a similarly shaped vessel in the Los Angeles County Museum, in silver and attributed to the eighteenth century (acc. no. AC1994.174.1, illustrated on the LACMA website under "Decorative arts, South and Southeast Asia."
3. Zebrowski, M., Gold, Silver and Bronze from Mughal India. London, 1997, fig.433.
4. Digby, S., "A corpus of Mughal glass," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, XXXVI, 1, 1973, pp. 80–96.
5. Carboni, S., Glass from Islamic Lands, New York, 2001, pp. 386–96; Carboni, S., Glass of the Sultans. New York, 2002, for an overview of islamic glass.
Abanindranath Tagore (Indian), Calcutta, India (until d. 1951); [ Terence McInerney, New York, until 2000; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Glass of the Sultans," October 2, 2001–January 13, 2002, not in catalogue.
New York. Asia Society. "In the Realm of Gods and Kings: Arts of India, Selections from the Polsky Collections and The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 14, 2004–January 2, 2005, no. 97.
Journal of Glass Studies 44 (2002). p. 220, ill. (b/w).
Topsfield, Andrew, ed. "Arts of India." In In the Realm of Gods and Kings. London; New York: Philip Wilson Publishers, 2004. no. 97, pp. 236–37, ill. p. 237 (color).
The Met Collection API is where all makers, creators, researchers, and dreamers can connect to the most up-to-date data and public domain images for The Met collection. Open Access data and public domain images are available for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use without permission or fee.
We continue to research and examine historical and cultural context for objects in The Met collection. If you have comments or questions about this object record, please complete and submit this form. The Museum looks forward to receiving your comments.
The Met's collection of Islamic art is one of the most comprehensive in the world and ranges in date from the seventh to the twenty-first century. Its more than 15,000 objects reflect the great diversity and range of the cultural traditions from Spain to Indonesia.