From: Robert Lint <ktulu_rises@…>
Date: Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:15 am
Subject: The Castaigne collection - another item
ITEM #101235-bb Persian Hookah Bottle
Wrapped in a wool Swedish army blanket is a disassembled Hookah/Narghile
The hookah bottle appears to be late 17th century Persian glass decorated on 2 sides with almost identical portraits of a seated man reading a book. These portraits are enclosed within painted vignettes.
Most art historians would guess the portrait is probably that of Saladin. The decorations on the bottle look newer than the bottle itself, and the faces seem to be some sort of transfer. Vignettes are painted with actual gold, white, orange and yellow-green.
The dark blue glass is full of internal bubbles and flaws - the piece was certainly blown, not molded. Height: 13 inches.
The hoses, bowl and other pieces all appear to be of much more recent manufacture - the bottle is the only antique. All these pieces smell strongly of hashish and other plant alkaloids.
If cool water is placed in the bottle (as if in preparation to smoke) the refractions of light through flaws in the glass will make it now appear the man is holding a pen and writing in the book. Rotating the hookah bottle causes a "flip-book" persistence of vision illusion, where the scribe's pen moves back and forth.