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A rare stemmed glass Goblet.  Persia or Syria, 10th - 13th Centuries

finely blown in a yellowish-colourless glass, the tall rounded funnel bowl on a slender solid stem and splayed foot with a rounded edge, the bowl decorated with three horizontal trails enclosing in the upper band a row of alternate bluish-green and colourless applied prunts, and below, two rows of alternately coloured prunts. 7 cm. diam., 12.8 cm. high. Sold for £2,400

Footnote: This rare glass is very closely related to a small group of stemmed goblets that have an additional flange applied around the bottom of the body. These delicate vessels may be decorated with thin spiral trailing as on a goblet dated erroneously to the 7th or 8th century in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh (see A. Oliver Jr, Ancient Glass, Pittsburg 1980, p. 143, no. 248), and with snake-like trails as on a second goblet in Pittsburgh that also has a row of prunts (op. cit, Pittsburg 1980, no. 247). A third example in the Victoria and Albert Museum, reputedly from Persia and dated to the 10th-12th Century, is decorated with both colourless and green glass prunts (see Recent Aquisitions, Journal of Glass Studies 10, 1968, p. 185. no. 28). Another prunted example dated to the 11th-12th Century is preserved in the Khalili Collection where it is compared to a 12th-13th Century goblet without a flange from Dvin, Armenia (see S.M. Goldstein, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, Vol. XV. Glass, London 2005, pp. 248-9, no. 286). Fragments from flanged goblets have also been found at Hama in Syria, together with truncated conical beakers similarly decorated with thin trailing and prunts (P.J. Riis, 'Les Vereries', in Hama. Fouilles et Recherches 1931-1938, Vol. IV.2, Copenhagen 1957, pp. 57-9). These examples have been dated to the 12th and 13th Century and probably from the prototypes for the prunted beakers produced in Italy and Germany from the 13th Century onwards (see E. Baumgartner and I. Krueger, Phoenix aus Sand und Asche, Basel 1998, pp. 192-3).

Bonhams. Islamic & Indian Art, 2 Apr 2009. New Bond Street www.bonhams.com (Copyright © 2002-2009 Bonhams 1793 Ltd., Images and Text All Rights Reserved)