Dish with Mule and Rider, and Animals

Object Name: 
Dish with Mule and Rider, and Animals

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Object Name: 
Dish with Mule and Rider, and Animals
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 5.3 cm, Diam (max): 25 cm
On Display
about 901-999
Web Description: 
This dish was made by sagging a disk of molten glass over a decorated mold and, after annealing, by cutting it on the wheel. The style of the cutting is unusual. The figures stand in relief of uniform thickness, without raised borders. The decoration shows a mule and rider surrounded by four animals: two ibexes, a lion with a prominent mane, and a snake. This scene is similar to those found on Sasanian-period metal dishes decorated with riders. The riders on the metal dishes are usually kings (identifiable by their distinctive crowns), armed and mounted on horses with rich trappings. They are shown hunting lions, boars, or other animals. Here, by contrast, the rider has no weapons, rides a mule, and pays no attention to the four animals surrounding him. This indicates that the dish is not Sasanian, and scholars conclude that it was made in the early Islamic period.
Smith, Ray Winfield (American, 1897-1982), Source
Primary Description: 
Translucent deep reddish purple glass; probably slumped over mold; cut, ground, and polished. Shallow dish, rim plain with top ground flat; wall curves down and in, with three small, irregular indentations below lip and even smaller irregularities elsewhere; base has low foot ring, bottom ground flat; no pontil mark. Interior decorated in relief with mule and rider surrounded by four animals. Mule is shown in profile, walking to left, with right foreleg raised and other legs straight; rider is shown in twisted perspective, with head in profile but torso rendered frontally. Animals are ibexes running from right to left; lion walking from left to right; snake, seen from above, gliding from right to left. Mule, rider, and animals are in relief of uniform thickness, without raised borders; background is plain. Details are indicated by linear cuts, almost all of which are short and straight.
Glass of the Sultans
Benaki Museum
Corning Museum of Glass
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Glass from the Ancient World
Corning Museum of Glass 1957-06-04 through 1957-09-15
Islamic Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass Volume One (2010) illustrated, pp. 276-278, #489; BIB# 113723
Islamic Masterworks: 'Glass of the Sultans' at the Met (2001-11) illustrated, fig. 13; BIB# AI53342
Glass of the Sultans (2001) illustrated, pp. 196-197, #101; BIB# 68105
Glass from the Ancient World: The Ray Winfield Smith Collection (1957) illustrated, pp. 231, 263, #530; BIB# 27315