The city of Nishapur, located in eastern Iran, was a place of political importance in medieval times and a flourishing center of art, crafts, and trade. Excavated by the Iranian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum in 1935–40 and again in 1947, the site yielded a wealth of artifacts. This volume is the fourth in a series issued by the Museum to publish the excavated finds. The objects are now divided between The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Iran Bastan Museum in Tehran. The Nishapur finds date from precisely the time when Islamic glassmaking in Iran was at its finest. Glass objects of outstanding quality were unearthed, as well as an unusually large number of unpretentious, strictly functional vessels that evoke the daily life of their owners. The first section of the book surveys glass of the early Islamic period throughout the Near East, examines the excavation sites at Nishapur, and discusses the significance of the Nishapur glass findings. In the catalogue section, the different glass-decorating techniques are explained and the glass objects found at Nishapur are described, illustrated in photographs and line drawings, and analyzed for style and influence, with supplementary illustrations and full references to the scholarly literature. An appendix contributed by Robert H. Brill of the Corning Museum of Glass makes use of chemical analyses to shed further light on the glass found at Nishapur.
The book also contains a map and site plans, a glossary, a concordance, and an extensive bibliography.