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Title: Mughal jades and crystals based on a catalogue raisonné of the collections in the National Museums of London
Author: Mirza, Arif Husain
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1961
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This thesis aims at providing a catalogue and description of the extensive Collections of Mughal jades and crystals in the National Museums of London. Although these Collections are comparatively rich, yet very little attention has been paid to the problems involved in the working of both Jade and rock-crystal in India, and little has been published on this subject. An attempt, therefore, has been made to trace the beginnings and development of these arts. The thesis is divided into two parts, the first consisting of six chapters and the second of a Catalogue of a very wide representative sample of jade and rock-crystal. The first chapter deals with the superstitious beliefs concerning jade, its chemical composition and the occurrence of the mineral in China, Eastern Turkistan and Burma. An effort has been made to establish that China had once its own jade deposits which became exhausted because of heavy demands made upon them. In the second chapter the Chinese working of jade is described in some detail, followed by an analysis of the technique of jade working. The Indian working of jade as observed by European writers and as inferred by study of the Collections, has also, been dealt with. In the third chapter the constitutents of rock-crystal and its material evidence in various Indian archaeological sites is assembled and a survey of Buddhist reliquaries is made. The fourth chapter deals with the methods of manufacturing hard stone beads and the advanced techniques employed in making reliquaries. In the fifth chapter the history of the diamond and the use of the diamond point and dust has been traced. The early Indian evidence is found to be indefinite. In the final chapter a tentative dating of the Mughal jade and rock-crystal objects has been attempted and an effort has been made to establish that not only rock-crystal but also jade was worked by local Indian craftsmen.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral