View Full Version : Early Islamic Ink Bottle?

Robby Raccoon
10-31-2018, 05:04 PM
It was sold under the Roman medicine category, but I was suggested that it may actually be early Islamic and made to hold ink. I had been thinking Mediterranean perfume, myself.
Yes, it is pontiled. Top is applied to the body.
It's mostly green, though the very base seems aqua. Oddly, the base seems almost applied, itself (it's also badly cracked). It seems to have been rolled onto the body, if that makes sense?
And then there were two.

10-31-2018, 11:31 PM
Very cool! Any idea how old it might be? I have no idea how one would go about dating something from the Medieval era or before. It's certainly a fascinating piece.

Robby Raccoon
11-01-2018, 02:06 PM
The person I talked to who studies ancient glass said he thinks it's early Islamic period, which puts it in the 7th to 14th centuries A.D. At the same time, though, he said it may be Mesopotamia (which ceased to exist before the Islamic period) in the same sentence as it being possibly from Egypt. He told me he has no real way of dating this because the shape is too unique. The shape is why I wanted it. Hah hah.

11-08-2018, 09:57 AM
That is one awesome piece of very old glass... I'm no expert but that patina sure looks real to me. You might look on the Saddle flask guy's website. He seems to have more persian glass catalogued than anyone else out there. I don't remember seeing this form though.


Jim G

Harry Pristis
11-08-2018, 04:35 PM
It looks to me to be a candle holder. I am skeptical about these pieces of glass which depend on surface crud to appear old. A dip in some acetone (solvent) may reveal that the candle holder is much more recent than represented. Acetone won't hurt glass, but use in well-ventilated situation.

Robby Raccoon
11-10-2018, 11:46 AM
Saratoga Driver, thank you for the link.

Harry Pristis, I swapped on some to a small spot. While it negatively impacted some of the pretty patina, the whitish decay remained unaffected.

Harry Pristis
11-10-2018, 02:03 PM
What pretty patina would that be? If it dissolved, it is not glass. It is contamination either incidentally adherent or deliberately applied to the candle holder. For a long time, there has been a steady flow from the Middle East of faked early glass, faked by applying nasty-looking film of contaminants to the glass surface.

Robby Raccoon
11-10-2018, 02:14 PM
The same stuff that flakes off these bottles I dug up, particularly the green one, when you scrub them:
If you saw it in person, I think you'd agree it's not a film. I've been in the hobby long enough to see when something is clearly fake (like oils for the pretty rainbow patina) and when probably real (with the mix of the ugly white scaling and the pretty but very fragile metallic patinas). The glass is decomposed slightly, but not etched as by acid. I think it was dug, as for from what period it comes, that is my question.

Robby Raccoon
11-24-2018, 07:12 PM
Bottles in this section c. 100-400 C.E. This is pretty similar and matches the region. Not quite a candle holder.
Also, mine was still full of rock-hard dirt when I got it, and stunk like some of my clay-dug bottles, upon removing that.