Name of Object:

Bottle or perfume sprinkler


Amman, Jordan

Holding Museum:

Jordan Archaeological Museum

About Jordan Archaeological Museum, Amman

Date of Object:

Hegira 7th century / AD 13th century

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Blown glass.


Height 11 cm, height (of neck) 3 cm, width 8 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Unknown, probably Syria.


A disk shaped bi-coloured bottle with a concave base and a small neck decorated with a marbling pattern achieved by dragging a comb-like tool that forms the loops. The same pattern in dark purple and white has been used all over the vessel.

The 'combing' and blowing technique used on this vessel became popular in Egypt and Syria during the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods, but had been practiced in Syria since the Roman period. The marbling technique used here entailed winding opaque glass threads (usually green, blue or purple) around the blown bubble of glass while it was still hot. The threads were then pressed on to the surface by means of a stone rod and then combed to form a series of parallel festoons, or white trails, that were tooled into festoons or feather-like patterns.

View Short Description

A glass perfume bottle from Ajlun Castle, with a marbling pattern achieved by dragging a comb-like tool to form the loops. This technique became popular in Egypt during the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods, although it had been practised in Syria since the Roman period.

How date and origin were established:

The bottle was dated by analysis of the stratigraphic context in which it was found and through stylistic analysis and comparison with other, similar bottles produced in Syria and in Adana in Anatolia, Turkey.

How Object was obtained:

The bottle was recovered in 1927 by G. Horsfield in the moat at the Castle of Ajlun during an archaeological excavation and clearing programme in the south-west corner of the moat.

How provenance was established:

The bottle was recovered during an archaeological excavation at the Castle of Ajlun. Its place of production is uncertain but it is possible that it was produced in Syria.

Selected bibliography:

A Brief History of Islamic Glassmaking, Corning Museum of Glass, NY, pp.1–3.

Kolbas, J., 'A Colour Chronology of Islamic Glass' Journal of Glass Studies Vol. 25, 1993, NY, pp.85–100.

Tail, H., Five Thousand Years of Glass, London, 1996, p.129, cat. no.162.

The Unity of Islamic Art, King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies, England, 1985, p.165, cat. no. 197.

Citation of this web page:

Aida Naghawy "Bottle or perfume sprinkler" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020.;ISL;jo;Mus01;24;en

Prepared by: Aida NaghawyAida Naghawy

Aida Naghawy is an archaeologist and the Director of Jordan Archaeological Museum. She studied archaeology at the University of Jordan where she gained her MA. She was affiliated to the Jordanian Department of Antiquities from 1974 as a curator of Jordan Archaeological Museum. In 1981 she became inspector of Jerash antiquities and co-ordinator of the Jerash International Rehabilitation project. She was also head of the archaeological awareness section at the Department of Antiquities. Aida is the author of numerous publications on Islamic coins. She has carried out excavation work in Jerash and is the founder of Jerash Archaeological Museum and the Islamic Museum of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs.

Copyedited by: Mandi GomezMandi Gomez

Amanda Gomez is a freelance copy-editor and proofreader working in London. She studied Art History and Literature at Essex University (1986–89) and received her MA (Area Studies Africa: Art, Literature, African Thought) from SOAS in 1990. She worked as an editorial assistant for the independent publisher Bellew Publishing (1991–94) and studied at Bookhouse and the London College of Printing on day release. She was publications officer at the Museum of London until 2000 and then took a role at Art Books International, where she worked on projects for independent publishers and arts institutions that included MWNF’s English-language editions of the books series Islamic Art in the Mediterranean. She was part of the editorial team for further MWNF iterations: Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean Virtual Museum and the illustrated volume Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean.

True to its ethos of connecting people through the arts, MWNF has provided Amanda with valuable opportunities for discovery and learning, increased her editorial experience, and connected her with publishers and institutions all over the world. More recently, the projects she has worked on include MWNF’s Sharing History Virtual Museum and Exhibition series, Vitra Design Museum’s Victor Papanek and Objects of Desire, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s online publication 2 or 3 Tigers and its volume Race, Nation, Class.

MWNF Working Number: JO 49


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