Enamelled bottle - ROM2004_1044_17


Enamelled bottle

Medium:Glass, blown and enamelled
Geography: Made in Syria, possibly Aleppo; found in a mosque in Shanxi province, China
Date: Mid-13th century AD
Period: Ayyubid or Mamluk Period
27.2 x 5.7 cm
Object number: 924.26.1
Credit Line: The George Crofts Collection
On view
Gallery Location:Bishop White Gallery of Chinese Temple Art
DescriptionFrom the end of the 12th century until the fifteenth century glass was painted with decorations resembling those found on contemporary ceramics or inlaid in silver on copper vessels. The allure of the gold and blue pigments, attained through painting crushed coloured glass on blown objects and then firing them, took precedence over the translucency of the glass. The earliest wares of this type were probably made in Syria, but Egypt became a major producer by the fourteenth century. This bottle was probably made in Syria around 1250 A.D. and found its way to China probably in the baggage trains of Muslim merchants plying their trade along the Silk Route. It was discovered in a mosque in Shanxi province along with two other similarly decorated glass vessels in the ROM's collection. Muslim traders founded colonies across China to export silk and other goods to the Near East. The Arabic inscription reads: "Glory to our Master, the Sultan, the King, the Ruler, the Warrior." Similar vessels have inscriptions datable to c. 1250.
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