This small pale green glass bottle would have
been used to hold precious liquids such as
perfume. The stoppers of such vessels have not
survived but it has been suggested they were
made of cotton or a similar perishable material.
The beauty of this type of bottle lies the use of
bold geometric motifs cut in high relief. Facet-
cutting was already known during the Sassanian
period and flourished in the sixth century AD
when it was used mainly for round bowls. During
the Islamic era it was applied to a larger range of
vessels, especially small bottles which enjoyed a
particular vogue between the ninth and tenth
centuries AD. Its use was reserved for luxury
wares, perhaps in imitation of more costly rock
crystal cut vessels. The usual method was to cast
the basic shape of the vessel in a mold. The
cutting was carried out when the glass was cold.
The early dating of this example is fairly secure
as the facet-cutting technique had fallen out of
fashion by the eleventh-century.
The neck of the bottle is adorned with a band of
rectangular facets (slightly rounded at the
edges). On the body itself each of the four sides
features two triangles in relief, arranged to form
a 'kite' shape. Over the centuries weathering has
produced an opaque and slightly irridescent
patina which adds to the beauty of the vessel.