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Aḥmad ʿAbd Al-Rāziq, Aḥmad Al-Šawkī
Aḍwāʾ ğadīda ʿalā kaʾs al-amīrʿAbd al-Ṣamd b. ʿAlī. أضواء جديدة على كأس الأمير عبد الصمد بن على
A glass goblet in the form of a rounded cup kept in the Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo was discovered at Fustat city in 1962. This lustered glass cup was famous as the goblet of al-Amīr ʿAbd al-Ṣamad Ibn ʿAlī and is 9.5 cm high and 13.5 cm in diameter. The decoration is painted in luster and the rim bears a simple kufic inscription that reads : “Bismillāh [al-Raḥmān al-Raḥīm mimma ama]ra ʿAbd al-Ṣamad Ibn ʿAlī aṣlaḥahu Allāh wa ʿazza naṣruhu”. “In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate. One of the things ordered by ʿAbd al-Ṣamad Ibn ʿAlī. May God make him prosper and his his victory be glorified”.
It is worth mentioning that when Scanlon first published this goblet he dated it to the year 155 A.H. / 733 A.D. He based his dating on the inscription, which bears the name ʿAbd al-Ṣamad, and whom he identified as the governor of Egypt for one month in the year 155 A.H. / 733 A.D. under the second Abbasid Caliph Abū Ǧaʿfar al-Manṣūr. Several other scholars in the field accepted Scanlon’s words without question. However, none of the historical sources mention the name al-Amīr ʿAbd al-Ṣamad Ibn ʿAlī among the Abbasid governors of Egypt at this date. Accordingly, and after further investigation in the historical sources, it became clear that ʿAbd al-Ṣamad Ibn ʿAlī was one of the Abbasid officers who held several high positions under the Abbasids. On present historical evidence, however, this study concludes that the goblet can be firmly dated within the years 136-137 A.H. / 753-755 A.D., which precedes the generally accepted date by about eighteen or nineteen years. It now seems certain that the technique of painting in luster on glass was developed in Egypt as early as the second century A.H. / eighth century A.D.
Keywords : ʿAbd al-Ṣamad Ibn ʿAlī – lustered glass – boblet glass – Abbasid – inscription – islamic art – Fustat.