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Object Name: 
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 14.6 cm, Diam (max): 3.5 cm
Not on Display
about 1200-1299
Web Description: 
Small cosmetic flasks are among the most common Islamic glass vessels with marvered decoration. They may have held kohl (a powder used to darken the eyelids or eyebrows) or unguents. Here is one of the best examples of its kind. It features white trails that were tooled into a festooned pattern covering the entire surface, then marvered until the trails were flush with the surface. Such vessels are sometimes called "spear" flasks because of their slender, flared profile and small base. Their shape suggests that they were stored horizontally or at a slight angle, or that a support was used to keep them upright. The traditional association of these objects with cosmetics was recently verified by the discovery of a small flask at al-Tur, on the Sinai Peninsula, that still retained some kohl. It was found next to a copper rod that was used to apply the compound to the eyelids.
Steuben Glass, Inc., Former Collection
Primary Description: 
Bottle. Transparent deep blue, with opaque white trail. Blown (body blown in dip mold); applied, dragged, marvered. Bottle: horizontal cross section of body is circular at top, but becomes square about 2 cm below shoulder. Rim plain, with rounded lip; neck narrow and cylindrical, but slightly narrower at bottom than at top; shoulder rounded; wall straight and tapering; base square; pontil mark (D. 0.8 cm). Decoration consists of single trail dropped onto edge of base and wound spirally 12 times around entire vessel except for rim; trail was then dragged vertically to produce nine contiguous festoons.
Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Medieval Trans-Saharan Exchange
Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art 2019-01-26 through 2019-07-21
Aga Khan Museum 2019-09-21 through 2020-02-23
National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution 2020-04-08 through 2020-11-29
Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time challenges the widely held bias of a timeless Africa that is cut off from the dynamics of world history. This will be the first major exhibition to take stock of the material culture of early trans-Saharan trade and to offer strong evidence of the central but little-recognized role Africa played in medieval history. Among the diverse materials on view in the exhibition will be sculptures, jewelry, household and luxury objects, manuscripts, and architectural remnants. What unites these materials is their connections to routes of exchange across the Sahara Desert during the medieval period (eighth through 16th centuries). Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time addresses the shared history of West Africa, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe during the critical epoch of the eighth through 16th centuries, when West African gold fueled a global economy and was the impetus for the movement of things, people and ideas across the Sahara Desert to Europe, the Middle East and beyond. Because of the scarcity of surviving intact works from before the 16th century, the early history and material culture of Africa have rarely been the focus of major exhibitions. More than 100 assembled artworks and archeological fragments will help audiences discover the far-reaching impact of historic trans-Saharan exchange and the overlooked role of West Africa at the forefront of these developments. Using objects as points of entry and inquiry, Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time will interweave the art history, archaeology, history and comparative literature of trans-Saharan trade, situating it within a broad geographical and historical context. CATALOGUE A fully illustrated exhibition catalogue with contributions by multiple authors from across disciplines, representing the interdisciplinary scope of the project. Catalogue will be co-published by the Block Museum of Art and Princeton University Press. SUPPORT AND ADVISORS An interdisciplinary team of specialists from art history, archaeology, history, and comparative literature working in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, and Europe are advisors to the project. Caravans of Gold, Fragments of Time has been made possible in part by major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Caravans of Gold is also supported in part by Northwestern University's Buffett Institute for Global Studies. An anonymous donor made possible the exhibition’s travel to the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and other venues. Additional support is provided by the Alumnae of Northwestern University, the Robert Lehman Foundation, the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, and the Evanston Arts Council, an agency supported by the City of Evanston. The related publication is supported in part by Northwestern University's Office for Research, Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, the Sandra L. Riggs Publications Fund at the Block Museum of Art, and a gift from Liz Warnock to the Department of Art History at Northwestern University. Special thanks to the Art Institute of Chicago for curatorial research support.
Beauty and Belief: Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture
Brigham Young University Museum of Art 2012-02-24 through 2012-09-29
Indianapolis Museum of Art 2012-11-02 through 2013-01-13
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 2013-02 through 2013-06
Brooklyn Museum 2013-08 through 2013-11
As the premier art museum in the Mountain West and most attended university art museum in North America, the Brigham Young University Museum of Art (MOA) in Provo, Utah, is the organizing institution for the upcoming exhibition Beauty and Belief: Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture. Renowned Islamic art scholar Dr. Sabiha Al Khemir is serving as Project Director of the exhibition that will feature more than 250 works of art from more than 40 lenders in ten countries and will travel throughout the United States. The exhibition will be on display in the galleries on the main level of the museum.
Glass of the Sultans
Benaki Museum
Corning Museum of Glass
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Islam and the Medieval West
University Art Museum, Binghamton 1975 through 1975
Islamic art across the world
Indiana University Art Museum 1970-06-17 through 1970-10-01
From the world of Islam
Fox-Richmond Gallery 1970 through 1970
Isurāmu garasu=Islamic glass/イスラーム・ガラス=Islamic glass/真道洋子著; 桝屋友子監修 (2020) illustrated, preface color plate 19;
Islamic Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass Volume Two (2014) illustrated, p. 208, #970; BIB# 113723
Beauty and Belief: Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture (2012) illustrated, p. 243, lower panel, left; BIB# 127550
Melisende of Jerusalem: the world of a forgotten crusader queen (2011) illustrated, p. 136, plate xvii, fig. 5.22;
Ein islamisches Schminkeflaschen im keltischen Grab (2009) illustrated, p. 599;
Histoire du Verre: les chefs-d'oeuvre de l'Islam (2007) illustrated, p. 83; BIB# 98424
Islamic Masterworks: 'Glass of the Sultans' at the Met (2001-11) illustrated, fig. 23; BIB# AI53342
Glass of the Sultans (2001) illustrated, p. 139, #55; BIB# 68105
Islam and the Medieval West (1975) illustrated, no. G13; BIB# 18974
Islamic Art Across the World: an exhibition (1970) p. 45, #232; BIB# 18881