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Mosque lamp

  • Place of origin:

    Egypt (probably, made)
    Syria (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1309-1310 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Glass, enamelled and gilt

  • Museum number:

    322-1900

  • Gallery location:

    Islamic Middle East, Room 42, The Jameel Gallery, case 14E

Two bold bands of inscriptions dominate the decoration of this lamp. In the lower band there is a prayer for Sultan Baybars II (r.1309–1310), a member of the Mamluk dynasty, which ruled Egypt and Syria between 1250 and 1517. The words above describe the delights of paradise. Together, the inscriptions indicate that the lamp was made for the sultan’s tomb in Cairo.

Above: ‘The truly good will live in bliss. You will gaze at the look of bliss on their faces. They will be served a sealed nectar.’ (compare Qur’an, 83, verses 22, 24, 25)

Below: ‘Glory to our Lord the Sultan, al-Malik al-Muzaffar, the Wise, the Just, Rukn al-Dunya wa’l-Din – May God fortify his victories!’

Physical description

Lamp made for the tomb of the Mamluk sultan Baybars II in Cairo, Egypt or Syria, 1309-10.

Place of Origin

Egypt (probably, made)
Syria (possibly, made)

Date

1309-1310 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Glass, enamelled and gilt

Marks and inscriptions

Above: 'The truly good will live in bliss. You will gaze at the look of bliss on their faces. They will be served a sealed nectar.' (Compare Qur'an, surah 83, verses 22, 24, 25)
Below: 'Glory to our Lord the Sultan, al-Malik al-Muzaffar, the Wise, the Just, Rukn al-Dunya wa'l-Din - May God fortify his victories!'
Decoration

Dimensions

Height: 29.0 cm, Width: 25.4 cm maximum

Descriptive line

Lamp made for the tomb of the Mamluk sultan Baybars II in Cairo, Egypt or Syria, 1309-10.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Carboni, S., Whitehouse, D. Glass of the Sultans. Catalogue of the exhibition "Glass of the Sultans" held at The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York, May 24th -Sept. 3rd, 2001; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Oct. 2nd, 2001 -Jan. 13th, 2002; The Benaki Museum, Athens, Feb. 20th - May 15th, 2002. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2001. (Yale Univ. Press) Cat. 115, pp. 230-2
Lamm, Carl Johan. Mittelalterliche Gläser und Steinschnittarbeiten aus dem Nahen Osten. 2 vols. Forschungen zur islamischen Kunst, 5. Berlin, 1929-30. pl. 190:5
Schmoranz, Gustav. Altorientalische Glas-Gefässe . Vienna, 1898, pl. 24
Schmoranz (1898; pl.XXVI), Brooks (1975)
Greenhalgh, Paul Ed., Art Nouveau : 1890 - 1914. London: V&A Publications, 2000. 449 p., 7.3pl,
Ward, Rachel 'Mosque Lamps and Enamelled Glass: Getting the Dates Right' in Doris Behrens-Abouseif (ed.), The Arts of the Mamluks in Egypt and Syria- Evolution and Impact, (Bonn University Press, Goettingen), 2012. ISBN. 9783899719154
p.61, fig.3

Labels and date

Made for a building commissioned by Rukn al-Din Baybars II, Mamluk Sultan of Egypt (1309-10). [Old label]
Lamp of Sultan Baybars II
Egypt or Syria
1309-10

Two bold bands of inscriptions on this lamp give two types of information. The words in white in the upper band describe the delights of paradise. Those in blue in the lower band are a prayer for Sultan Baybars II, who ruled in 1309-10. Together, they indicate that the lamp was made for the sultan's tomb in Cairo.

Glass, gilded and enamelled

Museum no. 322-1900 [Jameel Gallery]

Categories

Glass; Islam; Lighting; Religion; Architectural fittings; Africa

Collection

Middle East Section

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