Jahangir, Collector: Seizing the World
Written for HIST 477: Islamic Art and Empire, Dr. Lisa Balabanlilar and Dr. Aimée E. Froom
Mughal Emperor Jahangir (r. 1605-1627) was an avid collector of many things: art, animals, and natural wonders. By tracing his acquisition habits, including networks of trade and types of acquisitions, this article reveals how the emperor constructed his self-concept by way of his collection. Jahangir collected prestige objects to reinforce his own wealth, but also desired to know and possess the most fantastic animals, plants, stones, or other natural oddities. By allowing him to place his mark on such a wide range of objects, Jahangir’s collection justified his regnal title: Jahangir, World-Seizer.