Smithsonian Freer Gallery Sackler Gallery National Museum of Asian Art Gallery Guide Arts of the Islamic World
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Enameled glass vessels were one of the most sought-after luxury items of medieval Syria and Egypt and were avidly collected by wealthy patrons throughout the Islamic world and beyond. A technical virtuosity, enamelled glass was created by outlining the decorative elements with red enamel and filling them in with white, blue, green, yellow, and other colors. The vessel was then reheated for the enamel to adhere to the surface. According to the elegant inscription, this tall bottle was commissioned by Saif al-Din Ali (reigned 1322–63), one of the Rasulid Sultans of Yemen, who greatly admired such sumptuous objects.

 Bottle
Glass enameled and gilded
Damascus, Syria, mid-14th century
49.7 cm (H) x 24.8 cm (dia.)
Purchase F1934.20


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