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Flask with Polo Players

Unknownc. 1300

Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

This bulbous flask with vertical fluting sits on a solid circular foot and extends into a cylindrical neck. The sparse decoration consists of a frieze of twelve riders, of whom curiously only one holds a polo mallet. Around the shoulder of the flask is an elegantly and delicately painted animal frieze. The inscription around the neck gives no name. Enamelled glass was produced in great quantity during the Mamluk period, both in Syria and in Egypt, its highly skilful painted decoration often being closely related to contemporary book illustration. As well as the lamps often commissioned for mosques, many other forms were produced, including goblets, bowls and bottles. The animal frieze on the shoulder of the flask is interrupted by three red rosettes on a white ground, the emblem of the Rasulid sultans of Yemen. The game of polo was very popular at the princely courts of the time. The exceptional state of conservation of the glass as well as of the painting give this flask a special place among the Islamic enamelled glassware. Apparently it was preserved in China. As was common for artefacts in East Asia, it may have been kept for centuries in a protective container or a shrine. At the end of the nineteenth century it was in the collection of die German diplomat Count Pourtales, and it was acquired for the museum in 1913.

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Details

  • Title: Flask with Polo Players
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: c. 1300
  • Location: Syria or Egypt
  • Physical Dimensions: w19 x h28.5 cm
  • Type: Flask
  • Medium: Glass, enamelled and gilded.
  • Inv. no.: I. 2573
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-814517
  • External link: Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: || Text: © Scala Publishers / Museum für Islamische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jens Kröger Photo: © b p k - Photo Agency / Museum für Islamische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Arne Psille
  • Collection: Museum für Islamische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

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