The ancient Islamic glass, the Syriac production
The scientist Lamm, supposes that the Egyptian craftsmen, towards the end of the twelfth century, has been called upon to work in Rakka in Syria, at the court of the new rulers Syriac. Their meeting with indigenous craftsmen, already experts in decorating the glass with wires and colored drops, because of a tradition going back to the time of Roman rule, has determined that superb flowering of enameled glass and gilt which lasted throughout the fourteenth century.
As we shall see, it was not to remain without echoes in Europe and more specifically in Venice where it greatly influenced the art of jewelry Murano glass. The true Syriac production, that it is the most beautiful of all the Muslim glass, includes three groups of glasses, the first of which is earliest in date and consists of pieces of Rakka probably made ââin the late twelfth century and the first half of the XIII.
They are transparent and colorless glass, decorated with enamel rather thick, with inscriptions in white, gold, blue turquoise and drops in the form of beads variously arranged, these issues also taken from contemporary masters of jewelry Murano glass. While the other two groups, belonging to the golden period, are characterized by a glassy material rarely colorless and transparent, but rather brownish or greenish, often in bubbles, and decorations of different types from each other.
The group called “Aleppo” includes flasks, cups, goblets, but probably also produced in Iraq (Kadesia, Mosul, Baghdad), with decorations similar to those of contemporary metals damascened of Mosul and Persian “Minai” ceramics, taken from miniatures of the glass school of Badgad, often found in Venetian jewelry Murano glass. In the second half of the thirteenth century appear, along with elaborate arabesques, frequent figures of riders and polo players, in blue enamel, red, white and gold, often in considerable relief.
To this group is well assimilated, for the affinity of the decorations, a series of enamelled glass whose characteristic is to present the glass background, instead of clear, colored in blue with cobalt, and in various shades of violet-purple, using manganese. Sometimes, however, the decorations have similarities with those of the so-called glass to “streamers” or “feathers” of Pharaonic Egypt.