• Art of the Islamic and Indian  auction at Christies

    Sale 7843

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    13 April 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 17

    AN UMAYYAD BLUE GLASS EWER

    IRAQ OR SYRIA, CIRCA 8TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    AN UMAYYAD BLUE GLASS EWER
    IRAQ OR SYRIA, CIRCA 8TH CENTURY
    Rising flat base through moulded rounded body to tubular neck with shaped and pinched spout, the body decorated with groups of three vertical ribs, each side one nipped to join the central vertical one, with applied cobalt-blue handle with an applied ring joining to the back of the spout, fold at top to form a thumb rest, pontil mark, corrosion of the surface, intact
    9in. (22.9cm.) high


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    Examples of moulded clear glass ewers of pear-shape form, footless, attributed to 9th century Mesopotamia show similar pinched spouts with applied handles (Stefano Carboni, Glass from Islamic Lands, London, 2001, p.200-1, cat.48b). However, the present ewer has a more elongated neck and a slightly more bulbous body than most examples of this group. It can be paralleled for instance with an early Islamic Syrian olive-green glass ewer in the Bazargan collection. (Helen A. Kordmahini, Glass from the Bazargan Collection, Tehran, 1993, cat.67). Although that example has a rounded mouth, the thick curving handle with bulbous applied extremities shows similarities to the present ewer. The design of the moulding finds a parallel in a small number of earlier Sasanian bowls which are decorated with similar groups of nipped vertical ribs, one of which is in the Corning Museum of Glass (David Whitehouse, Sasanian and Post-Sasanian Glass, New York, 2005, cat.7, p.23). Many of these bowls have been excavated in Iraq. A clear blue glass cup also in the Corning Museum, datable to 4th to 7th century or later can be compared to the present ewer as the slightly curving ribs of the blue body renders with a same overall effect (David Whitehouse, op.cit, cat.9, p.23-4). These elements point toward an early date for this intact ewer, very probably the 8th century.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    UK market, 2008