© The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Name of Object:

Animal flask


New York, United States of America

Holding Museum:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Hegira mid 1st–late 2nd century / AD late 7th–8th century

Type of object:


Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Glass, amber-coloured; blown, applied decoration

Period / Dynasty:

Umayyad or Abbasid


Probably Syria


During Roman and early Islamic times, animal‑shaped vessels were made using intricately decorated double or quadruple glass tubes. Draped with trailed glass threads that imitate protective cages, the tubes are carried on the backs of domestic animals. The uppermost portion of the cage in this example supports four projecting animal heads. Vessels like this one were probably used as containers for kohl or perfume.

Additional Copyright Information:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Charles S. Payson, 1969

Citation of this web page:

 "Animal flask" in Explore Islamic Art Collections , Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;EPM;us;Mus23;37;en&id=glass

MWNF Working Number: US3 37

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 Artistic Introduction

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