Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Fragments of a Plate with Engraved Designs

Object Name:
9th century
Attributed to Syria or Iraq. Excavated in Iran, Nishapur
Glass, blue; blown, applied trail, scratch-engraved
H. ca. 9/16 in. (ca. 1.5 cm) Diam. 11 in. (28 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1940
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
The striking blue color of this plate was achieved by adding cobalt to the glass fabric, and its surface has been engraved with various patterns arranged in concentric registers around a central roundel. The circular hole at the center indicates the place where a foot was once attached. This plate is important evidence of the active glass trade from west to east during the ninth and tenth centuries. Probably made in Syria, it was imported to Nishapur where it was found in the prosperous Tepe Madrasa section of the city. The fact that six dishes of this type were found in the crypt of the Famen Temple in China demonstrates the far eastern reaches of the trade routes that passed through Nishapur. Furthermore, the evidence from this temple, whose crypt was sealed in 874, provides an ante quem date for our plate.
1939, excavated at Tepe Madrasa in Nishapur, Iran by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's expedition; 1940, acquired by the Museum in the division of finds

Corning, NY. Corning Museum of Glass. "Glass of the Sultans," May 24, 2001–September 3, 2001, no. 68.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Glass of the Sultans," October 2, 2001–January 13, 2002, no. 68.

Athens, Greece. Benaki Museum. "Glass of the Sultans," February 20, 2002–May 15, 2002, no. 68.

McAllister, Hannah, Maurice S. Dimand, Charles K. Wilkinson, and Walter Hauser. "Excavations of the Iranian Expedition in the Kanat Teppeh, Nishapur." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, old series, vol. 37 (1942). pp. 105-106, 109, ill. fig. 33 (b/w).

Ferrier, Ronald W., ed. The Arts of Persia. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989. pp. 301-303, ill. pl. 14 (b/w).

Kröger, Jens. Nishapur: Glass of the Early Islamic Period. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995. no. 164, pp. 117-119, ill. p. 118 (b/w).

Carboni, Stefano, David Whitehouse, Robert H. Brill, and William Gudenrath. Glass of the Sultans. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001. no. 68, pp. 162-163, ill. p. 162 (color).

Ettinghausen, Richard, Oleg Grabar, and Marilyn Jenkins-Madina. Islamic Art and Architecture 650–1250. 2nd ed. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001. p. 121, ill. fig. 193 (color).

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