Glass, Rock Crystal and Jade
Turquoise Bottle With Applied And Trailed Decoration
12th century CE
Materials and technique
Glass; mould blown, applied, and trailed
Height 23 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 bottle represents one of several techniques - the mould blown glass technique, to which threads of glass are applied and trailed - used to decorate Iranian glass in the centuries after Islam. The technique of blowing glass in a mould is known to have been popular in the eastern Mediterranean region under the Roman Empire by the first or second century CE. This bottle contains a trellis pattern of concentric rounded rhomboids. Its neck has been embellished with three bands of trailed glass threads, while two tiers of trails resembling those applied on seventh-eighth century Syrian cage flasks have been applied to the shoulder (Carboni 2001, pp. 112-13 nos. 29-32). 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 (Carboni 2001, p. 237 and cat. no. 66). 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. 236-37, cat. no. 66).
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