Glass, Rock Crystal and Jade
Fatimid,10th-11th century CE
Materials and technique
Height 6 cm
Precious objects fashioned from rock crystal were highly prized in Egypt. They may be linked to Fatimid Egypt as they are often mentioned in Fatimid treasury accounts, and there are extant objects inscribed with the names of Fatimid caliphs and officials. Valued throughout the centuries, Fatimid rock crystal objects are found today in European royal and church treasuries to which they were brought by Crusaders and travellers to the Holy Land. An extraordinary ewer in the San Marco church treasury, Venice, features an inscription with the name of the Fatimid Imam-caliph al-'Aziz (r. 975-96 CE). This tubular-shaped bottle has as its sole decoration a kufic script inscription in Arabic which translates as ‘Glory and prosperity to its owner’.
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