1712 – Engelbert Kaempfer

Kaempfer wrote extensively about the Persian wine trade; a full chapter that I have had translated. Delightfully, he also drew us a line drawing, replicated here:


For now, Charleston’s excerpts will have to suffice. Writing of the Shiraz wines and their transport, Charleston tells us that Kaempfer writes:

“Of the glass vessels, some are larger, big-bellied (ampullacea”) and jacketed with rushwork (“circumucto scirpo tunicata”), which they call <<Karaba>> (see letter c. in Kaempfer’s diagram), others smaller and not furnished with rushwork (see letter d). The former take eight <<man kohoneh>> of wine, less often nine; the latter one-and-a-half. The glasses indeed are manufactured in this city itself: the flints are furnished by the land itself, the neighbouring city of Neris provides the plan for the alkali, called Kilia, while the valleys round about provide the wood. A single Karaba costs at the glasshouse two mamudi, seldom dearer. The chests for transport, which the Persians call <<Sanduk>>, and foreigners <<Kassa>>, are densely woven of thin rods (“ex tenubis asserculis obtuse sunt compactae”), and are too weak to stand a journey without being carefully strengthened by being tied round with cords; having first been stuffed with straw, by means of which they may be kept apart and protected against pressure (see letter f). Individual chests take about ten of the smaller flasks, rarely more; and at least two of the Karabas, with which one of the smaller flasks is very frequently inserted. Not infrequently smaller glass vessels filled with rose-water are inserted into the empty spaces (see letter e). Two chests make the load of one mule.”

c 1730 – Savary Des Bruslons {still to be verified}

“There is no glass-making at all in the East, apart from Persia.”


“I delivered a present to the Governor, consisting of oranges and lemons, with several sorts of dried fruits, and six carboys of Isfahan wine.” – Hanway, i 102.

ca 1786-1787 – W. Francklin {still to be verified}

“They have at Shiraz a glass manufactory, where they cast very good glass, of which great quantities are exported to different parts of Persia.” 

16th Century

17th Century

18th Century

19th Century

20th Century