The April Cup in Mevlana Museum Konya Turkey – Chapter 2,
May this cup bring him happiness and good fortune.” According to these inscriptions, the April Cup was made for the last Ilhan Sultan Abu Said Bahadir Han who ruled in Baghdad from 1317 to 1335. Abu Said Bahadir Han was the son of the Ilhan sultan Olcaytu Mehmed, who died in 1317. Abu Said Bahadir Han came to the throne in Tabriz at the age of 12 years old, and while he was still young the affairs of state were managed by the vizier Emir Coban. After managing the state successfully for ten years he was killed on the orders of Abu Said Bahadir Han, who then married the vizier’s daughter Baghdad Hatun. Her heart burning with revenge Baghdad Hatun managed to get the affairs of the state entirely into her own hands. When Abu Said Bahadir Han married her niece Dilsat Hatun her veins swelled with jealousy and in the month of November 1335, she killed the sultan by poisoning him. Left without a leader the army commanders killed Baghdad Hatun. So the April Cup is not only a magnificent work of art but also a souvenir from a period full of palace feuds. It is the painstaking work of years of a Turkish craftsman, who made it for the sultan. Historians have investigated how the cup happened to find its way to Konya and found the answer. In the library of Mevlana Museum is a single leather bound edition of a manuscript book of poetry. On the 486th page of this book is ‘written the following “It is a gift to the Great Sultan Abu Said ‘Bahadir Han who brought happiness to his people, justice to his lands, was the ruler of nations. This cup was made in 728 Hicri (the year 1327) in Mosul. In 734 (the year 1333) the cup was put in the hands of the Emir Sungur Aga with a plea for intercession, and sent to the holy and innocent Tomb of Mevlana”. According to this important document our masterpiece, the April Cup, was made in 1327 and sent to the Tomb of Mevlana by Abu Said Bahadir Han in the charge of Emir Sungur Aga. Emir Sungur Aga who brought the April Cup to Konya and presented it to the Tomb of Mevlana was one of the seven emirs which were sent to Anatolia by the Mongol-Ilhan sultan Abaka Han. Emir Sungur governed Nigde and the surrounding region for many years and had a mosque built there in his name. When Emir Sungur died he was buried in the Tomb adjoining the mosque which he had built in Nigde. I have tried to briefly describe the history of this unique work of art, the April Cup. In 1936 the April Cup was sent to America for exhibit in the Exhibition of Masterpieces of Turkish Art. It took pride of place and attracted great interest.
Today the April Cup is exhibited in the most prominent position in Konya Mevlana Museum. It is situated at the head of the sarcophagi of the Khorasan Soldiers, the place ‘where it ‘was originally placed 644 years ago. The museum authorities make sure that it is never moved anywhere else. Konya Museums are justified in feeling pride in this masterpiece. the April Cup, executed with such craftsmanship with gold and silver damascene that it has dazzled the eye for centuries.