Cut-glass Bowl

  • Sasanian Dynasty Persia
  • 4th - 6th centuries A.D.
Catalogue Entry

Sasanian Persia continued the cut-glass techniques begun during the Roman period and created a massive number of cut-glass vessels with new designs and motifs for export use. These works ended up in areas as far-flung as the Scandinavian Peninsula and the Eurasian continent, with some examples even making their way to Japan. This work was blown and molded from colorless semi-translucent glass and then decorated with cut work. The large circular cuts produced six round protrusions that circle the body of the bowl. The circular cuts are then surrounded on top and bottom by a row of small horizontal cuts. In place of a formal foot arrangement, the base of the bowl is cut with somewhat larger circular cuts and a protrusion than those on the side of the bowl. A rounded band circles the inside of the mouth rim area, and the areas around each protrusion are beveled. The glass has very few bubble inclusions and there is pink, green and purple iridescence on the areas where sand has been removed. Fragments of a similarly shaped vessel have been excavated at the Kami-Gamo Shrine in Kyoto, indicating that this vessel type arrived in Japan in antiquity.