Bottle thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Glass, Room 131

Bottle

1347-1370 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This bottle was purchased by the V&A as one of the largest and finest of its kind. The decoration is relatively sparse. It includes cartouches of calligraphy in praise of Sayf al-Din Jurji, who served the Mamluk Sultan Hasan of Egypt in the mid 14th century.

A conspicuous motif with two dots and two stripes appears several times in the upper register of the body. This is a stylised penbox and indicates Sayf al-Din Jurji’s high rank in the Sultan’s household.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Glass, blown, fired, gilded and enamelled, and fired again
Brief Description
Bottle, gilded and enamelled glass, with Arabic inscription to Sayf al-Din Jurji, Commander in Chief under Mamluk Sultan Hasan, Egypt or Syria, around 1350
Physical Description
Bottle with long neck, flaring slightly at mouth. Body of globular form leading to narrow foot. Design sketched and painted in gold. Body features series of alternating roundels and cartouches, the former encircled by two strips of braid which run parallel to each other between each roundel. The cartouches are rectangular in form, enclosing an inscription in Arabic. Above this are a further set of medallions featuring heraldic emblems alternating with decorative medallions against a background of arabesque. Above this is a band of running animals against an arabesque background around the base of the neck of the bottle. The neck features two bands of braided motif against sketchy arabesque.
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
  • (Arabic; in cartouches on body)
  • Mamluk blazon of the penbox, referring to the rank of dawadar (secretary) in the Mamluk court
Gallery Label
  • Made for Saif al-Din Jurgi, officer of al-Malik al-Nasir, Mamluk Sultan of Egypt (1347-51 and 1354-61). The inscriptions include a dedication to Saif ad-din Jurji, Commander-in-Chief under an-Nsir Hasan, Mameluke Sultan of Egypt. SYRAIN; middle of 14th century. Bought.(Used until 11/2003)
  • The inscriptions include a dedication to Saif ad-din Jurji, Commander-in-Chief under an-Nasir Hasan, Mamluke Sultan of Egypt. SYRIAN; middle of the 14th century(Old gallery label)
Object history
The shape of this bottle links it to a similarly shaped and sparsely-decorated example in the Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo (E. Atil, Renaissance.., fig. 49) which she dates to the late 13th- early 14th century. Medallions were a popular type of motif, but are used here to enclose the blazon of Saif al-Din Jurgi, the Major-domo of the Noble Porte. Blazons became increasingly important in the decoration of enamelled glass during the 14th century.
Summary
This bottle was purchased by the V&A as one of the largest and finest of its kind. The decoration is relatively sparse. It includes cartouches of calligraphy in praise of Sayf al-Din Jurji, who served the Mamluk Sultan Hasan of Egypt in the mid 14th century.



A conspicuous motif with two dots and two stripes appears several times in the upper register of the body. This is a stylised penbox and indicates Sayf al-Din Jurji’s high rank in the Sultan’s household.
Bibliographic Reference
Mayer, Saracenic Heraldry, p.134.
Other Number
8266 - Glass gallery number
Collection
Accession Number
223-1879

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record createdDecember 13, 1997
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