Nancy Um to speak in the CEMERS Lecture Series, Wed, Sept 12

Bottle, Glass with enamel and gilding, 1725-1750, Gujarat, Height :13.2 cm, Base: 6.2 x 6.2 cm, LACMA, M.88.129.203. Image in the public domain.

Nancy Um will deliver a lecture entitled, “Imam al-Mutawakkil’s Box: Aromatic Gifts around the Late-Seventeenth- and Early-Eighteenth-Century Indian Ocean,” in the CEMERS Lecture Series. The lecture will be held on September 12, 2018 at 3 pm in LN 1106 (IASH Conference Room).
Lecture Abstract: In this talk, I will explore the significance of a corpus of square-based, mold-blown, and gilded glass vessels that were made in India in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and have been cast under the wider rubric of “Mughal glass.” By connecting these decorated flasks to similar containers made of porcelain in Japan, we may understand the key role that they played as gifts, filled with aromatic oils, packaged in custom-made boxes, and delivered to recipients around the Indian Ocean. Rather than isolated items of decorative interest, these highly mobile, much-dispersed, and valuable gifts of glass and porcelain comprised parts of assemblages that were deployed strategically across the extended commercial networks of the Dutch overseas empire.

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