Mosaic Bowl

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Object Name: 
Mosaic Bowl
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 5 cm, Diam (max): 20.2 cm
On Display
Web Description: 
The discovery of fragments of mosaic glass vessels and tiles in the ruins of a caliph’s palace built in 836-842 at Samarra (Iraq) indicates that some Islamic mosaic glass was made in the ninth century. It is not known when this production began or ended. With the possible exception of beads, there is no evidence of Sasanian or Roman mosaic glass manufacture after the fourth century. This seems to suggest that the mosaic glassmaking technique may have been rediscovered by Islamic craftsmen. Although little mosaic glass appears to have been produced in the Islamic world, it was nevertheless widely distributed, from Egypt to Iran. This restored bowl is made of cane slices with an opaque yellow circle at the center, surrounded by an opaque white ring and a ring of small white spots in a “black” matrix. When complete, the wall and floor of the vessel would have contained some 1,300 slices.
Uraeus Gallery, Source
Primary Description: 
Opaque yellow, opaque white, and black. Slices of cane fused to form disk, which was sagged; ground and polished. Bowl: shallow, conical. Rim plain, with rounded edge; wall almost straight, but curving in near bottom; foot is restored. All cane slices have yellow circle at center, surrounded by white ring, which is encircled by ring of small white spots in black matrix. Four slices occupy about one square centimeter; when complete, wall and floor would have contained some 1,300 slices.
Glass of the Sultans
Benaki Museum
Corning Museum of Glass
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Designs in Miniature: The Story of Mosaic Glass
Corning Museum of Glass 1995-06-03 through 1995-10-22
Islamic Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass Volume Two (2014) illustrated, p. 14, #596; BIB# 113723
Glass of the Sultans (2001) illustrated, p. 150, #64; BIB# 68105
Glass in the Islamic World (2001) illustrated, [p. 3, top];
Recent Important Acquisitions, 22 (1980) illustrated, p. 89, #9; BIB# AI98082