The vessel type represented by this piece excavated from Nishapur in eastern Iran is known in English as the "molar flask" due to the distinct, tooth-like form of its base. The molar flask was a popular household item in the Islamic world between the eighth and eleventh centuries, and their wide distribution from Egypt to Iran suggests multiple centers of manufacture. Such vessels were most likely used to hold small amounts of valuable liquid perfumes. Like this bottle and the others found at Nishapur, molar flasks are usually made from monochrome glass and are often embellished with carved decorations. Examples crafted from more expensive materials like fused glass mosaic and even rock crystal are also known.
1936, purchased in Nishapur, Iran by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's expedition; 1937, accessioned by the Museum
Kröger, Jens. Nishapur: Glass of the Early Islamic Period. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995. no. 188, p. 137, ill. (b/w).