Glass, Rock Crystal and Jade
Long-Necked Bottle With Relief Cut Decoration
9th-10th century CE
Materials and technique
Glass; free blown, tooled, and facet cut
height 19.1 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 clear glass bottle has a long tubular neck and displays designs engraved in higher relief. It may be attributed to the Iranian region in the 9th-10th century based on comparisons to other glass bottles of cylindrical form with arcade cut and faceted decoration (Carboni 2001, pp. 93-95, cat. nos. 23a & 25a [around the neck]). The inverted teardrop motifs on this object’s shoulder resemble the upper row of a two-tiered teardrop pattern on a bottle in the al-Sabah Collection in Kuwait, which has been compared to the “Style C” ornament type identified at Samarra (Iraq) and suggests the cross-cultural connections between Iran and Mesopotamia during this period. Globular-shaped long-necked bottles became a standard for glass production in early and mediaeval Iran, probably inspired by parallel forms produced in the ceramic medium under the Seljuqs (ibid., p. 237 and cat. no. 66).
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