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All About Glass

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Sasanian Cup

Listen as former curator David Whitehouse describes this Sasanian cup. An example of Sasanian craftsmanship, this is a small bowl cut with relief bosses. It was probably made in Iran. The surfaces of the bosses are concave. The surrounding glass has been cut back to leave the bosses standing in relief, a process that would have required a great deal of effort. The foot of the bowl has been treated in the same way. Similar objects were among the Sasanian glassware exported to the Far East. At least one example is known to be from China, and fragments of another were found in a sixth- to seventh-century context on the Japanese island of Okinoshima.