Glass, Rock Crystal and Jade
9th-10th century CE
Materials and technique
Glass; free blown, tooled, and relief cut
Height 14.1 cm
Islamic glassmaking grew out of a tradition begun in the first century BCE in the Syro-Palestinian region, where molten glass was inflated with a blowpipe and manipulated into desired forms with special tools. Craftsmen had discovered how to create glass through the transformation of raw materials prior to this period, as early as the third millennium BCE; however, until about 50 BCE, they were forming glass around a removable core or using casting moulds, which required much time and labour and thus resulted in less overall production. This cylindrical turquoise bottle represents one of several techniques used to decorate Iranian glass in the centuries after Islam. With a narrow flared neck, it displays designs engraved in higher relief. It may be attributed to the Iranian region in the 9th-10th century based on stylistic comparison with works of similar shape and decoration (Carboni 2001, p. 95, cat. 25a, and p. 154, cat. no. 3.5c). Coloured and mould blown glass has generally been attributed to northeastern Iran between the twelve and fourteenth centuries (Carboni and Whitehouse 2001, pp. 98-99, nos. 25-26; and Carboni 2001, pp. 236-237, cat. no. 66).
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