Unknown,Fatimid ( North Africa )
10th or 11th century AD
Mineral; Quartz; Rock Crystal; Silica
File of material relating to a cosmetic bottle. Includes photocopy of information card with photocopy of image of object (date unspecified). Dates object to the tenth or eleventh century; note (24 January 1996) directs reader to 'See 1975 List p. 7'; Hunt Museum object comment sheet (27 June 1996) containing comments made about object by Hugh Tait, formerly of the British Museum. Notes that it is Fatimid rock crystal and that many of these objects were made mounted in silver; notes (date unspecified) relating to the Fatimite dynasty, members of which claimed they were descended from Fatima, daughter of Mohammed. Notes also discuss Saladin, the greatest Moslem warrior of the twelfth century; notes (date unspecified) which state that the art of engraving rock crystal was developed to perfection by the Carolingians, particularly in the ninth century. This technique was revived in the Middle Rhineland and the Mosan region about 1200 in emulation of Roman and Fatimid rock crystal; three black and white and two colour photographs (dates unspecified). One of the objects in the colour photographs appears to be the present object and the other is unnamed but its dimensions are 6.4cm high and 2.6cm wide. One of the black and white photographs has comment written on verso: '4cm high glass' Another black and white photograph is stamped 'Bunratty Castle Museum' and appears to be the present object. The third black and white photograph shows object which it is noted is 5.2 cm high; extract from a report on acquisitions of the Victoria and Albert Museum (date unspecified) which describes 'two Fatimid crystals.' Image of these objects also present; note (date unspecified) which refers to article entitled 'Les Cristanse Fatimites' published in 'Connaissance des Arts' (12 June 1961) letter (27 June 1958) from R.H. Pinder-Wilson, Department of Oriental Antiquities, British Museum, to John Hunt, Senior, Drumleck, Baily, county Dublin. Writes that inscription on present object reads, 'Barakah wa Khair' which he translates as 'Well being and blessing.' He dates it to the mid-tenth century; letter (25 February 1961) from Professor Ernst Kuhnel, Berlin-Nikolassee, Prinz-Friedr.-Leopoldstr. 44, to John Hunt, Senior. Writes that there are two objects of the same shape, but different in details, in the Historische Museum, probably Venice, and dated to the fourteenth century. Dates present object to eleventh or twelfth century but he is not sure it is Fatimid. Comments that the spiral cutting of that period is more characteristic for Byfuna 'but on the other hand the ending knobs appear to me rather as Islamic'; letter in German, and translation of same (28 August 1962), from Professor Doctor K. Erdmann, Director, Islamic Department, former State Museum, Berlin, to John Hunt, Senior, in thanks for sending some rock crystals. Writes that the large one is very beautiful and has a parallel in the 'pieces Lamm 68,4; 68,12 and 68,18. Very close to it are two receptacles in Berlin and Dresden - which Lamm does not yet have - which I published in the last few years'; draft letter (5 December 1968) from John Hunt, Senior, to Pierre Gilbert, Head Conservator, Musées royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, Brussels. He wishes to exchange some objects in his collection for two Ireland objects held by the Brussels museum. The first is a silver cradle which is at present on exhibition in the 'Exposition Liege et Bourgogne, No. 135.' Notes also that this object is illustrated in 'L'Orfèvrerie Religieuse Liégeoise'' (c. 1966) by Monsignor Pierre Colman, page 160. Also discusses three rock crystal Fatimid objects, of which the Brussels museum may choose two. Says of the present object that he believes there are only three other known examples: one in the Benaki Museum, Athens, the British Museum and the third formerly in the Oppenheim Collection, Cologne. Describes another Fatimid rock crystal object as 'very singular'. It is roughened at the base as if for a sword hilt, but the late Dr K. Erdman of the Islamische Ableilung Berlin, compared it with its 2 eagles heads, to the Reliquary of the Holy Blood'; photocopy of image of latter object also present (date unspecified); reply in French (13 December 1968) from Gilbert to John Hunt, Senior, in relation to the proposed exchange; copy of letter (19 December 1968) from John Hunt, Senior, to Gilbert, agreeing that his suggestion about a permanent loan of the objects from one museum to the other is acceptable; letter in French (2 July 1969) from Gilbert to John Hunt, Senior. Writes that a Commission charged by his museums administration to consider their exchange proposal has not ratified it; letter (9 July 1969) from Henri Michel, engineer, 54 rue de Tenbosch, Brussels, to John Hunt, Senior. Writes that as a member of the consulting board of the Musée Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, Brussels, he was recently informed of exchange proposal. Writes that he is a collector of rock crystal objects and wishes to know if he might be able to purchase the objects proposed by Hunt. This would enable Hunt to purchase objects more convenient to his Shannon museum.
Place of collection
Rock crystal cosmetic-bottle | Mineral,Silica,Quartz,Rock Crystal | 10th or 11th century AD | The Hunt Collection | PD