Example 99: Islamic lamp

Work Record
Class [controlled]: • decorative arts • ceramics • Islamic art
*Work Type [link]: • mosque lamp
*Title: Mosque Lamp
*Creator Display: unknown Syrian or Egyptian
*Role [link]: artist [link]: unknown Syrian
*Role [link]: artist [link]: unknown Egyptian
*Creation Date: ca. 1285 (Mamluk period) [controlled]: • Earliest: 1280 • Latest: 1290
*Subject [links]: • object (utilitarian) • lamp • light • mosque furnishings • crossbows
Style [link]: • Mamluk
Culture [link]: • Syrian • Egyptian • Islamic
*Current Location [link]: Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, New York, United States) • ID: 17.190.985
*Measurements: 26.4 x 21 cm (10 3/8 x 8 ¼ inches)
[controlled]: • Value: 26.4 Unit: cm Type: height | Value: 21 Unit: cm Type: width
*Materials and Techniques: free-blown glass, enameled and gilded; tooled on the pontil
Material [links]: • enamel • glass • gold Technique [links]: • tooling • free-blown glass
Inscriptions: In Arabic, on neck and body: “This is one of the objects made for the mausoleum of His High Excellency Ala’ al-din the arquebusier, may God sanctify his soul.” (L. A. Mayer, trans.)
Description: The two gold crossbows addorsed against a red shield indicate that the patron of this lamp held the office of “bunduqdar” (Keeper of the Bow) under the Mamluk rule (1250-1517). The inscription states that the lamp was ordered for the mausoleum of “his excellency the bowkeeper of `Ala al-Din,” thus identifying him with Aydakin ibn `Abd-Allah, who died in Cairo in 1285. Aydakin, who held various offices under the Mamluks (after 1250), maintained the emblem and “nisba” (form to express relationship with one’s master) of his first appointment under the Ayyubid emir `Ala al-Din Aqsunqur until the end of his life. This lamp is a metaphor. In the Koran, God’s light is likened to “a niche in which is a lamp, the lamp is in a glass, and the glass is as if it were a brightly shining star.”
Description Source [link]: Metropolitan Museum of Art online. www.metmuseum.org (accessed 29 June 2007)

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