Such fused-rod beads represent one of the high points of Islamic glass-making, and this is one of the best examples on the market. It is manufactured from combed mosaic canes of white, red, yellow and green, into which three vertical panels each composed of four eyes have been set. Each eye has three concentric layers of black and white, red, and yellow. Though only a few of these beads have been found in Fustat itself, they were exported very widely and are found from West Africa to Indonesia. They are especially venerated in Mauritania. Fustat was founded as a centre for glass production in 641 and prospered as a cultural and artisanal centre under Fatimid rule from the eighth to the tenth century. This bead dates from that time. 2.1 cm x 2 cm.
Condition: The glass is in excellent condition and still retains most of its original brightness. There is some pitting to the surface (please see the detailed images).
Purchased from a private US collection.