The collection

Hookah Base

North India, 1740 - 1780
Jade, gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds
H. 16.2 cm; Diam. 16 cm

Introduced in India by Europeans, the practice of smoking tobacco using a hookah spread all over the Islamic world in the late sixteenth century. Ceramics – including Chinese exported porcelain – metal, glass and stone contributed to the creation of these luxury objects, which further embellished the ceremony of smoking.

Here the decoration is dominated by the linear pattern of gold stems, it is saturated with sepals and quatrefoils made out of rubies and emeralds. The need to stabilise the circular base would have required a ring or another support.