Beaker, greenish, colorless glass, with engraved decoration
Syria, Iraq, or Iran; 9th century
H: 7.5; Diam: 8.2 cm
The top of the beaker carries an Arabic inscription in Kufi that can be translated as follows: “In the name of God. The blessings of God to the owner.”
In the early Islamic period, glass was engraved with decorations of varying complexity. Some pieces were covered entirely by complicated patterns, while others featured a simple engraving to contrast with larger, undecorated surfaces. Common to them all, however, was the use of diagonal hatching, which in the quite simple floral decoration on this beaker changes directions from leaf to leaf.
The beaker can be dated, since blue glass with related decorations was found in a stupa (a Buddhist shrine) built in 874 in China’s Shaanxi Province.
Inv. no. 23/1987
Kjeld von Folsach: Islamic art. The David Collection, Copenhagen 1990, cat.no. 212;
Kjeld von Folsach: Art from the World of Islam in The David Collection, Copenhagen 2001, cat.no. 295;