34.9 cm (h.), 8.25 cm (diam.)
Purchase, Mabel Coghlin Bequest, inv. 1963.Dg.1
Archeology and World Cultures
Characterized by its tear-shaped rim, narrow curvilinear neck and globular body, the name of this Persian vessel is inspired by its striking resemblance to the elongated neck of a swan. The swan-neck bottle is thought to have first appeared during the reign of Shah Abbas I (1587-1629), when glass production was revitalized in centres such as Shiraz and Isfahan in response to growing competition from imported Venetian glass. The popularity of this type of graceful vessel attained its apogee in the nineteenth century, during which time it was exported to Europe in great quantities. As awareness of the Middle East grew in Europe and America during the second half of the nineteenth century, Western collectors and artists were drawn to the rich colour and refined elegance of Persian glass. American decorator and designer Louis Comfort Tiffany not only collected Persian swan-neck bottles, but also emulated aspects of the distinctly floral form in his own vases.