A Fatimid carved rock crystal Bottle Egypt, 10th Century
of cylindrical form with central narrow opening and tapering to other end, the four faces each with carved almond shaped protrusion 4 cm. high
Small ampullae are known as containers for perfume and precious liquids from Roman times. Rock crystal versions were produced in both Mesapotamia and Egypt as early as the 9th century, although the height of rock crystal production carried into the 11th century. The strength of the material and its transparent qualities made these vessels ideal for their use outside the Middle East in medieval churches. Examples can be found in the treasuries of the cathedral of Halberstadt and in the Stiftskirchengemeinde in Bad-Gandersheim (Europa und der Orient, Exhibition catalogue, Berlin, 1989, no, pl.636).