Although the shape is rare, in its decoration this elegant bottle relates to a small group of metal objects dated by Melikian to the last years of the 15th century. Typical are the large cloud bands, the cusped medallion with trefoil palmette terminals and the dense floral interlace (A.S. Melikian-Chirvani, Islamic Metalwork from the Iranian world. 8-18th Centuries, London, 1982). These features can be found on a dish, dated AH 902/1496-97 AD and attributed to Khorassan, now in the Hermitage Museum and a on bowl in the Bern Historisches Museum – catalogued as Khorassan, late 15th/early 16th century (Linda Komaroff, The Golden disk of Heaven: Metalwork of Timurid Iran, New York, 1992, no.18 and 28, pp.192-94 and 213-15). (M.K.49, Komaroff, op.cit., no.28, p.213-15).
Though unusual, the shape of our bottle can be paralleled in contemporaneous painting. A frontispiece from a manuscript of Sa’di’s Bustan, copied in Herat in 1488, depicts Sultan Husyan Bayqara hosting entertainment for several inebriated figures. It includes in its composition a golden table set with three bottles, two porcelain and one metal – similar in shape to that offered here (Lisa Golombek, ‘Discourses of an Imaginary Arts Council in Fifteenth Century Iran’, in Timurid Art and Culture. Iran and Central Asia in the Fifteenth Century, Leiden, 1992, fig.9, p.11).