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Name of Object:

Shah Jahan and Dara Shikoh


Dublin, Ireland

Holding Museum:

The Chester Beatty Library


Hegira c. 1059–60 / AD 1650

Type of object:

Album folio

Museum Inventory Number:

CBL In 50.3

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Coloured pigments and gold on paper


33.3 x 20.9 cm

Period / Dynasty:





Dara Shikoh was the favourite son and designated heir of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (r. 1627–58). However, Dara never acceded to the throne, for in 1659 he was killed during the war of succession that ensued when his father fell ill in 1657. Both men are heavily bejewelled, wearing mainly pearls, emeralds and rubies. Shah Jahan, with a partially greyed beard and wearing a fur-collared jacket, offers a large ruby (or spinel) to Dara. The European-style angels hovering above symbolize imperial majesty, while the globe on which father and son stand more precisely denotes Shah Jahan’s perceived status as King of the World (which is the English translation of the title ‘Shah Jahan’).

Citation of this web page:

 "Shah Jahan and Dara Shikoh" in Explore Islamic Art Collections , Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;EPM;ir;Mus21;48;en&id=portraits

MWNF Working Number: IR 48

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