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    Sale 7571

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    8 April 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 50

    AN UMAYYAD OR EARLY ABBASID AMBER GLASS BEAKER

    WEST MEDITERRANEAN, 8TH/9TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    AN UMAYYAD OR EARLY ABBASID AMBER GLASS BEAKER
    WEST MEDITERRANEAN, 8TH/9TH CENTURY
    With rounded base and deep vertical sides, the exterior trailed with the same colour glass and combed upwards to produce a honeycomb effect, base and one side slightly iridescent, intact
    4 1/8in. (10.3cm.) high


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    This remarkable vessel uses as its decoration a band of the same coloured glass that is wound around the cylindrical beaker and at regular intervals is stretched vertically thus giving the impression of ribs. Only one vessel using a technique similar to that found here is published, excavated from the citadel of Dvin in Armenia and now on view in the Caucasian galleries at the Hermitage Museum (R. M. Djianpoladian and A. A. Kalantarian, Trade Links in Armenia in the Middle Ages 6th-13th century according to the Glass Production, vol.14, VI of the Archaeological Monuments of Armenia, Academy of Sciences of Armenian S.S.R.- Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Yerevan, 1988, pl.XXX). The vertical extended lines are further apart from each other than they are here, and the shape slightly less rounded, but otherwise it is very close indeed. A few further fragments of similar vessels were also excavated there. One other fragment has been excavated, in Tunisia, demonstrating the distances glass travelled at this period.

    Various pre-Islamic and early Islamic vessels use a technique that leads towards the present beaker. The rounded small bottles made in 7th-8th century Syria play with some of the same motifs, extending applied dots in four directions (Stefano Carboni, Glass of the Sultans, New York, 2002, no.33, p.114). The present beaker is notable for the delicacy and crispness of the pieces of glass that are pulled out from the main horizontal bands, shown clearly in the detail illustrated.

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