Bottle with Scratched Decoration

Object Name: 
Bottle with Scratched Decoration

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Object Name: 
Bottle with Scratched Decoration
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 20.7 cm, Diam (max): 12.5 cm
On Display
Web Description: 
In the simplest form of Islamic engraving, the surface of the glass was scratched with a pointed tool. Often, the entire surface of an object was covered with decoration. Some patterns were simple and quickly executed, while others were complex and painstakingly rendered. Inscriptions are found on a number of these objects, but none has been useful in dating them. Therefore, their chronology has been based on archeological finds. Fragments of Islamic scratch-engraved glass have been excavated at two eighth-century sites: Susa (southwestern Iran) and Beth Shean (Israel). The finds from ninth-century contexts have been more numerous, and the closest parallels are six deep blue plates from a Chinese temple crypt that was sealed in 874. This bottle is decorated with four continuous horizontal bands of scratch-engraved ornament. Chemical analysis has shown that the glass was made with natron, which suggests that it came from Egypt or the Syro-Palestinian region.
Yeganeh, Mohammad, Source
Primary Description: 
Bottle with Scratched Decoration. Transparent pale bluish green glass; blown and scratch-engraved; tall neck and globular body; rim is everted with a rounded lip; the narrow cylindrical neck tapers slightly toward the bottom; wall curves out, down, and in, to a plain base. The body is decorated with four continuous horizontal bands of scratch-engraved ornament. The uppermost, narrow band has a ground line that supports about 30 isosceles triangles filled with transverse hatching. The second, somewhat wider band has upper and lower borders, and it contains two ribbons twisted into a continuous cable, on a hatched background. The third, broad band contains six tall oval panels alternating with six rhomboidal panels. The panels are enclosed by interwoven bands with a hatched background. Each oval panel contains a leaf-like motif with lobes, enlivened with a hatched oval surrounded by small hatched circles. The background is hatched. The rhomboidal panels contain all-over patterns of rhomboids that are alternately hatched or contain one or two short dashes. The fourth band of ornament consists of a ground line supporting a continuous row of overlapping scales enlivened with dots and roughly scratched circles.
Glass of the Sultans
Benaki Museum
Corning Museum of Glass
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Glass: A Short History (Smithsonian Books edition) (2012) illustrated, p. 52; BIB# 130360
Glass: A Short History (The British Museum edition) (2012) illustrated, p. 52; BIB# 135965
Islamic Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass Volume One (2010) illustrated, pp. 30-31, #34; BIB# 113723
Plastik sanatlarda cam malzemenin uygulanisi (2003) illustrated, p. 21, fig. 2.12; BIB# 120381
Glass of the Sultans (2001) illustrated, p. 167, #73; BIB# 68105
Chemical Analyses of Early Glasses (Volume 1) (1999) pp. 95, 249; BIB# 61154
Glasswares in Famen Temple (1992) illustrated, p. 256, no. 6340; Pl. 1, no. 2; BIB# AI31213
Cameo Glass: Masterpieces from 2000 Years of Glassmaking (1982) illustrated, pp. 93, 128, #147; BIB# 30609
Recent Important Acquisitions, 11 (1969) illustrated, p. 112, #20; BIB# AI97754