Mughal Lapidaries and the Inherited Modes of Production

  • Taylor L. Viens
Part of the Europe's Asian Centuries book series (EAC)


The well-established land trade routes utilized before the formation of the Mughal Empire facilitated the transmission of skills, techniques, materials, and artisans related to the lapidary arts. The intellectual, personnel, and technological transit in the lapidary arts under the Mughal Empire is the focus of this chapter, with an emphasis on the ‘inherited tradition’ of hard-stone abrasion, the art’s apex under the reign of Shah Jahan (r. 1628–1658), and the establishment of what this chapter argues is a recognizable Mughal imperial programme in the lapidary arts. This chapter uses object-based analysis, primary and secondary research to situate—and critically consider—the objects fabricated in the imperial atelier, and examine the hybrid and syncretic nature of the Mughal imperial programme in the lapidary arts.


Mughal Empire Lapidary arts Abrasion Gemstones Timur Genghis Khan Jewellery Karkhana Kundan Meena Inlay 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Taylor L. Viens
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarNew YorkUSA

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