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A MAMLUK ENAMELLED AND GILDED CLEAR GLASS MOSQUE LAMP
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About the item

A MAMLUK ENAMELLED AND GILDED CLEAR GLASS MOSQUE LAMP\nSultan Hasan Period, Egypt or Syria, 1347-61 AD\nOf typical form, the rounded body with long sloping curved shoulder, flaring conical mouth and spreading trumpet foot, six applied loop handles around the body, the body and mouth divided by white enamel strapwork into shaped linked panels of lotus flowers on blue ground and loosely drawn floral motifs in red on a clear ground, together with smaller red floral and polychrome fleur-de-lys panels, the mouth also with an upper and lower band of red enamelling on the interior, the foot with blue floral cartouches alternating with fleur-de-lys panels, (gilding rubbed)\n10¾ in. (27.4 cm.) high
GB
GB
GB

notes

This lamp is one of a small group typified by the elegant shape, an overall design with little or no inscriptions, a relatively restrained palette, and with panels frequently contained within white strapwork. Within the group, the present example is one of the smaller lamps. Vienna (G. Schmoranz, Old oriental gilt and enamelled glass vessels, English Version, Vienna and London, 1899, pl. X). Another very similar example, in the Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo, also shares with this lamp the two bands of red on the interior above and below the flaring mouth (G. Wiet, Catalogue général du musée arabe du Caire, Lampes et bouteilles en verre émaillé, Cairo, 1929, no. 272, pl. XXIV). This together with a few more comparable examples are documented as having been brought to the museum from the mosque of Sultan Hasan. One of the others (G. Wiet, op.cit., no. 271, pl. XXIII) bears the name of Sultan Hasan, making the attribution certain.

The lamps in the Islamic Museum in Cairo were all taken from the madrasa of Sultan Hasan which was completed in 1362-3. The number of lamps in the museum from this foundation is a reflection of the great scale and prominence of this complex. Built in the most prominent location just below the Ayyubid citadel, it is built on an enormous scale which dominates the surrounding buildings. Of the eight sons of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad who inherited the throne, he is by far the most prominent, and inherited his father's love of commissioning grand projects. The work on the majority of the lamps commissioned by him, like that of the present lamp, does not however reach the finesse of the pieces commissioned during his father's long reign. The slow gradual economic decline of the country in the 13th Century could be one reason for this. What was however a more pressing reason is that these lamps were never to be seen from close-up; there was therefore no reason to decorate them to the same standard of execution as the secular vessels. What was important was the strength of the design and the brilliant colours used, the very thin gilding over much of the clear glass still allowing the light to pass.

A further example, with features which relate it to this group, smaller in size than the present lamp, was originally from the Collection of the 3rd Marquess of Bute, sold in these Rooms 3 July 1996, lot 24.

title

A MAMLUK ENAMELLED AND GILDED CLEAR GLASS MOSQUE LAMP

medium

Of typical form, the rounded body with long sloping curved shoulder, flaring conical mouth and spreading trumpet foot, six applied loop handles around the body, the body and mouth divided by white enamel strapwork into shaped linked panels of lotus flowers on blue ground and loosely drawn floral motifs in red on a clear ground, together with smaller red floral and polychrome fleur-de-lys panels, the mouth also with an upper and lower band of red enamelling on the interior, the foot with blue floral cartouches alternating with fleur-de-lys panels, (gilding rubbed)

dimensions

10¾ in. (27.4 cm.) high

literature

C. J. Lamm, Mittelalterliche Gläser und Steinschnittarbeiten aus dem Nahen Osten, Berlin, 1929-30, Vol. I, p. 457, no. 121, not illustrated.

provenance

As lot 1.

Rothschild inv. nos. P.48 and E.de R.540.


*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.


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