A medieval Islamic glass vessel sold in London yesterday for 1.6 million pounds ($2.3 million), more than 20 times as much as it fetched less than a decade ago, when it was dismissed as a fake.
The 8-inch-high “Rothschild Bucket” was offered in Sotheby’s “Arts of the Islamic World” sale as a mid-14th-century piece, Bloomberg reports.
The bucket is actually a glass finger bowl, intricately gilded and decorated with colourful enamels, that dates from 14th century Egypt or Syria. It was made during the Mamluk dynasty that ruled the region from 1250 to 1517.
Bought by Baron Alphonse de Rothschild at a Paris auction in 1893, it had remained in the family for over 100 years and became known as the Rothschild Bucket.
Only four other similar buckets are known to exist and three of them are in major museum collections in Cairo, Lisbon and Kassel, Germany. The location of the fourth bucket is unknown.