© Khalili Family Trust

Name of Object:

Rose-water flask


London, United Kingdom

Holding Museum:

Khalili Family Trust – Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art


AD 10th or 11th century

Type of object:

Flask; silver; repoussé; engraved and parcel gilt

Museum Inventory Number:

MTW 1117

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Silver sheet, hammered and worked in repoussé, engraved and parcel gilt, the ground heavily ring-matted


32.5 x 12cm

Period / Dynasty:





The flask has a polyhedral body divided into a series of six lozenges with three pairs of pheasant-like birds and triangular half lozenges with scroll palmettes. The upper and lower sections of the neck and the shoulders have kufic inscriptions against a ring-matted background. Starting with the band around the top of the neck, they read: ‘For the Most Mighty owner, the Learned, the Just, the one helped [by God], the Victorious, the one Triumphant over the kingdom (Nusrat al-Dawla) and religion (Nusrat al-Din) may his glory be everlasting.’

The parallels to Sasanian silver, and to the decoration of Sasanian and early Islamic textiles, are clear and suggest that the decorative repertoire of silver was markedly more conservative than of objects in base metal. The form also recurs in glass of a rather later date.

Selected bibliography:

Rogers, J.M., The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London: Thames & Hudson, 2010: cat.91, pp.88–9.

Citation of this web page:

Compiled by Roberta Marin  "Rose-water flask" in Explore Islamic Art Collections , Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;EPM;uk;Mus21;8;en&id=gold_and_silver

Prepared by: Compiled by Roberta Marin

MWNF Working Number: UK1 08