Tobacco smoking appears to have arrived in India during the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar (1556-1605). The hookah was a water pipe in which tobacco smoke was sucked through scented water to cool it and to eliminate its harsh quality. With the establishment of the East India Company, English exports of glass to the Indian subcontinent increased dramatically. These exported wares included hookah bases made of high-quality glass that probably contained lead. The hookah base shown here is thought to have been wheel-engraved in India, perhaps in Delhi, because it matches, both in style and in technique, the engraving on jade and rock crystal made for the Mughal court.