• The Cavour Vase

    The Cavour Vase

    THE
    CAVOUR VASE

The Cavour Vase

Egypt or Syria, late 13th century

The so-called ‘Cavour Vase’ is one of a small group of cobalt-blue and purple enamelled and gilded glass vessels made in Syria and Egypt during the 13th and 14th centuries.

As such, this object is remarkable not only for the remarkable richness of its decoration, but also for its historical significance. Although an inscription around the neck gives praise to the sultan, this ruler is not named; elsewhere, the vase is decorated with vegetal motifs and Chinese-style birds.

Underneath the base is a contemporary repair, which fills a hole made before the glass had cooled. One side of the shoulder is lower, and extends further, than the other; this is presumably due to the reheating process required in enamelling, which would have caused one side of the glass to melt slightly.

The Cavour Vase