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Gorgeous 7th C. Byzantine / Persian Glass Bottle

Ancient Near East, Byzantine or possibly Persian, ca. 7th to 9th century CE. A stunning, near-opaque, mold-blown bottle with a deep sapphire-blue color. The vessel is defined by a planar base with a rough pontil scar, a roughly circular body with nine evenly-spaced sides, a rounded shoulder, a conical spout, and a thick rim. The body has several deliberately-created striations racing around the cobalt exterior, and areas of faint silvery and rainbow-hued iridescence imbue it with a wonderful palette of color. This design was ideal for sprinkling scented oils and perfumes. Moreover, the narrow long neck prevented the precious substances from evaporating too quickly. A fantastic example with a sophisticated presentation and exquisite form. Size: 1.75" W x 3.5" H (4.4 cm x 8.9 cm).

During the 7th to 9th centuries, the Byzantine Empire was in a state of economic and social crisis, repeatedly rocked by invasions, plagues, famines, and other disasters - a time period often called "The Dark Ages". Emerging from that period, it seems that the people of the Byzantine Empire wished to flaunt their wealth and embellish themselves with beautiful things. For example, in excavations of Byzantine graves from this period at Thessaloniki, jewelry is found with both men and women, and found in great quantities. Colorful vessels and any item that exuded a sense of opulence like this would have been a treasured item for a person living in this optimistic, dynamic time.

Condition: Surface wear and light abrasions commensurate with age as expected, very minor nicks to rim and base, with some light surface roughness, otherwise intact and excellent. Light earthen deposits, silvery iridescence, and rainbow iridescence throughout.

Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection

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