12th or early 13th century AD
amethyst-coloured glass, blown and tooled, with applied ornament and opaque turquoise trails
17.6 x 10.5cm
This flask is probably a revival of the luxury cut glass of the Sasanian and early Islamic period in a less time-consuming but no less labour-intensive technique. The manipulation of trails and their tooling into stylised horse protomes, the addition of discs, the pincered decoration and the application of all these decorative elements to the surface of the vessel made its manufacture a highly complex process. It is also a remarkable adaptation of an essentially metal form to glassware.
S.M. Goldstein et al, Glass. From Sasanian Antecedents to European Imitations, The Nasser D Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume XV, London 2005, cat.295, pp.255, 257. J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.151, p.127.