Lot 143. An elegant Ayyubid or early Mamluk marvered glass jar, Egypt or Syria, 12th-13th century; 4 3/8in. (11cm.) high. Estimate GBP 25,000 - GBP 35,000. Price realised GBP 25,000. © Christie's Image Ltd 2010.
Of bulbous form rising from short trumpet foot to flaring mouth, the purple translucent glass body marvered with white threads in festooned oblique patterns, clean repaired breaks.
Note: This aubergine coloured glass jar punctuated with a white foliated palmette design is an interesting example of a typical technique of glass making of its period. The decoration involves pouring a second strand of different coloured glass onto a still hot vessel which is being rotated. This produces a band of coloured decoration which can be manipulated into different designs. In this case, the manganese white glass has been poured on to the aubergine coloured glass in such a way to suggest the appearance of palm leaves circling round the delicate form reaching up to the mouth of the jar. Many different shaped objects were produced using this decorative technique. The predominant shapes appear to be of an elongated flask form, a similar aubergine and white coloured example is in the al-Sabah collection in the Kuwait National Museum (S. Carboni and D. Whitehouse, Glass of the Sultans, New York, 2001, pg 107, LNS 107 KG and LNS 118 G), also qumqum or perfume sprinklers of which one is in the collection of the Corning Museum of Glass, (see http://collection.cmog.org/detail.php?t=objects&type=all&f=&s=50.1.26&r ecord=0 inv.50.1.26). This jar is however of an unusual shape and also illustrates a mastery of the mareved pouring technique which is used in this case to create a very controlled yet flowing design. An example of a more flowing and less regular design can be found on a bottle sold at Sotheby's London (8 October 2008, lot 124).