Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Swan-Neck Glass Bottle

Object Name:
19th century
Attributed to Iran
Glass, blue; dip-molded, blown, folded foot
H. 15 in. (38.1 cm)
Max. Diam. 4 5/16 in. (11 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 462
Long-necked bottles are among the few types of glass vessels produced in Iran after the seventeenth century, as local production was gradually being replaced by European imports. Pieces dating from this period, influenced by Venetian models, are typically very graceful in shape, this "swan-neck" bottle being an accomplished example. Nineteenth-century works also bear a minimum of surface decoration; the most common form is a mold-blown pattern of fine twisted ribs, such as on this piece. It is unclear how bottles of this shape were used, though sometimes they are known as ashkdans and were supposedly for collecting the tears of wives whose husbands were away at war.
This bottle has a roughly globular body. The mouth is almost vertical, with the upper edge drawn up in a long tonguelike extension, and has a
rounded lip. Immediately below the lip is a hollow bulge. Beneath it, the neck consists of a narrow tube, wider at the bottom than at the top, that curves in two directions at the top, then descends vertically. The lower part of the neck has spiraling ribs that were formed in a dip mold. The base has a splayed foot ring made by folding, a conical kick, and a large annular pontil mark (1.4 cm x 1.6 cm [1/2 x 5/8 in.]).

The parison was blown in a dip mold, then inflated to the desired shape and size. During this inflation, the ribs were eliminated from the wall, but they remained on the lower neck.

David Whitehouse in [Carboni and Whitehouse 2001]
? Charles MannheimCollection, Paris (in 1898; coll. cat., 1898, no. 99); J. Pierpont Morgan (American), New York (until d. 1913; his estate 1913–17; gifted to MMA)
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution. "The Logic and Magic of Color," April 20, 1960–August 31, 1960, no. 168.

Bloomington. Indiana University. "Islamic Art Across the World," June 18, 1970–October 1, 1970, no. 238.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Glass Gathers: The Hagop Kevorkian Fund Special Exhibitions Gallery," May 24, 1990–March 31, 1991, no catalogue.

Corning, NY. Corning Museum of Glass. "Glass of the Sultans," May 24, 2001–September 3, 2001, no. 145.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Glass of the Sultans," October 2, 2001–January 13, 2002, no. 145.

Athens, Greece. Benaki Museum. "Glass of the Sultans," February 20, 2002–May 15, 2002, no. 145.

New York. Leubsdorf Gallery at Hunter College. "Re-Orientations: Islamic Art and the West in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries," February 7, 2008–April 26, 2008, no catalogue.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Mohammedan Decorative Arts. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1930. pp. 199, 200, ill. fig. 123 (b/w).

"An Exhibition Celebrating the Centennial Anniversary of the Cooper Union, 20th April–31st August, 1960." In The Logic and Magic of Color. New York: Cooper Union Museum, 1960. no. 168, p. 26.

Bowie, Theodore Robert. "An Exhibition Prepared by Theodore Bowie." In Islamic Art Across the World. Vol. no. 1970/3. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Art Museum, 1970. no. 238.

Jenkins-Madina, Marilyn. "Islamic Glass: A Brief History." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 44, no. 2 (Fall 1986). p. 51, ill. fig. 59 (color).

Carboni, Stefano, David Whitehouse, Robert H. Brill, and William Gudenrath. Glass of the Sultans. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001. no. 145, pp. 290-91, ill. p. 291 (color).

Bates, Ülkü. Re-Orientations: Islamic Art and the West in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. New York, 2008. no. 27, pp. 84–85, ill.

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