Bottle made for the Rasulid Sultan Hizabr al-Din in Yemen, between 1296 and 1321

  • Islamic, Egyptian
  • Islamic, Syrian

Glass, gold, enamel

  • Overall: 14 3/4 × 7 3/4 inches (37.5 × 19.7 cm)

City of Detroit Purchase


On View

  • Islamic


Islamic Art

Extraordinary examples of enameled, gilded glass were produced under the Mamluk sultans. This technique was commissioned exclusively by the court and its religious foundations. Bottles of this shape were used for decanting wine. This bottle with applied foot and neck ring is typical of early fourteenth-century Mamluk glass types. Its gilded and enameled decoration reflects that period's predilection for bands of calligraphy and floral motifs. This bottle was commissioned by Dawud, Rasulid Sultan of Yemen, and bears his blazon, a five-petaled rosette.

Inscribed, on four panels on body: One of the things made for the Sultan al-Malik al Mu-ayyad Hizabr al-Dunya wa 'l-Din Dawud ibn Yusuf ibn Umar, may his victory and sultanate be glorious (translated) Inscribed, on neck and body (translated): the learned or the wise [repeated in large blue letters]

until 1893, Frederic Spitzer [1815-1890] (Paris, France). by 1899, Dr. Max Strauss (Vienna, Austria). by 1930, (Wells Gallery [C. Edward Wells] New York, New York, USA)

1930-present, purchased by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Schmaranz, Gustav., ALTORIENTALISCHE GLASGEFASSE, Vienna, 1898, p. 18. Schmaranz, Gustav., Old oriental gilt and enamelled glass vessels extant in public museums and private collections, Vienna, 1899, pp. 25-27. Mehmet Aga-Oglu, Catalogue of a Loan Exhibition of Mohammedan Decorative Arts, Detroit Institute of Arts, October 21 to November 23, 1930, no.109, pp.38-39. DIA BULLETIN, vol XII, no 3, Dec 1930. DIA HANDBOOK, 1971, p 64. Atil, Esin, RENAISSANCE OF ISLAM: ART OF THE MAMLUKS, exh. cat.,Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., May 14, 1981 - May 29, 1983, p. 131 discussed and illustrated. Atil, "As Body Guard or Ruler Mamluks Made a Golden Age", SMITHSONIAN, July 1981, p. 113, illustrated. M.H. DeYoung Memorial Museum, EXHIBITION OF ISLAMIC ART, (San Francisco, 1937) cat. 173. A Visitors Guide: The Detroit Institute of Arts, ed. Julia P. Henshaw (Detroit 1995), p. 124 (ill.)

possibly Islamic, Syrian; possibly Islamic, Egyptian, Bottle made for the Rasulid Sultan Hizabr al-Din in Yemen, between 1296 and 1321, glass, gold, enamel. Detroit Institute of Arts, City of Detroit Purchase, 30.416.