This bottle was produced during the Fatimid period most probably for use as a container for perfume and scented oils. It is extremely rare to find aquamarine examples of the period and so one must turn to rock-crystal for comparison. A rock-crystal bottle of similar decoration is found in the Keir Collection, both bottles share the same bevelled palmette scroll around the body (R. Pinder Wilson, in B. Robinson (ed.), Islamic Art in the Keir Collection, London, 1988, no. R3, pp. 294-295). There existed a common repertoire of shapes and designs between cut-glass and rock crystal and it was likely that they were carved in the same workshops by the same craftsmen (Contadini, A., Fatimid Art at the Victoria & Albert Museum, 1998, p.25). Beryl mines were known in Egypt since ancient times and it is possible that this aquamarine was sourced from one of these, forming part of a very special commission.