The oriental manner and etiquette of serving wine is different from the modern Western style. Wine was poured into a big bowl or deep dish and the guests would be served in small cups. This copper wine bowl belonged to the Safavid royal family. The inscription on the lower band reads:
Safiya Begum dedicated this cup to Hazrat Abdullah al Hussain, on him be Salutations.
He who will cherish greed for it will be caught up in the curse of God and hatred of the prophet.
Year 991 (Hijri) = 1582.
The bowl stands on a beautiful base. The exterior of the bowl is elaborately chiselled in bands with calligraphy and hunting scenes gently raised in very low relief against the black lacquered background. The topmost band has medallions containing Shia prayers, the durud of Nad-e-Ali. The central band depicts a hunting expedition. The calligraphy, the details
of the costumes and the rendering of the elephant and other animal figures reveal the influence of Akbar-period painting. The trees and Tai clouds are markedly Persian elements in early Mughal art. This piece reveals the excellent combination of Mughal and Persian styles. On either side of this band are Persian couplets in Nastaliq. These are twelve couplets from the Saqi-nama by the well-known mystical poet Hafiz Shirazi.
Indian Decorative Art
Dated A.H. 991= 1582
Ht. : 15.5 x Dia. : 34.5 cms