Exhibitions/ Art Object

Luster-Painted Bottle

9th–10th century
Made in Syria
Glass, yellowish; gold and silver foil; blue enamel; facet-cut neck
H: 5 11/16 in. (14.5 cm); 4 1/8 in. (10.4 cm)
Credit Line:
The British Museum, London (1978,1011.2)
Not on view
Vegetal motifs drawing upon Byzantine and Sasanian forms developed in the arts of the Umayyad and early Abbasid period in the territories, once the southern provinces of the Byzantine Empire. Based on these traditions, the abstract forms and styles of ornament that subsequently developed at the Abbasid capital at Samarra would have a profound impact on the art and architecture of the Islamic world.
The alternating gold palmettes and leaves around the body of this bottle are worked in a technique popular in the Roman period.
The gold foil is sandwiched between two layers of glass. The blue dots may relate to dots in Qur’ans.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th–9th Century)," March 12, 2012–July 8, 2012.