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An Abbasid moulded glass Bottle with Figures. Persia or Mesopotamia, 8th-11th Century

made in green glass with bluish tinge, the funnel neck with cut and smoothed rim on a body blown into an octagonal mould, each panel decorated with a figure with a large head, seven facing figures with their arms held out differently, and one sitting sideways holding a rud upright, a six-petalled rosette on the underside of base. 9 cm. high. Estimate: £2,000 - 2,500. Unsold

Footnote: The closest parallel to this unusual bottle is a small pale green glass jug formely in the Alfred Wolkenberg Collection and now in the Khalili COllection, the decoration on which is described as unique (see S.M. Goldstein, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art. Volume XV. Glass., London 2005, p. 112, no. 132). Some of the figures on this jug have been tentatively identified as musicians, which might be the case of this bottle, but unfortunately the impression from the mould is not crisp enough to be certain. Goldstein assigns the Khalili jug to the 8th-11th century with the Syrio-Palestianian coast or possibly Egypt as its place of manufacture. The form of this bottle and the moulded rosette on teh base, however, suggests that it could have been produced in the Iranian region in the 10th and 11th century, which was the original attribution for the Khalili jug in the Wolkenberg sale catalogue (Christie's, 9th July 1990, lot 28).

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)