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Mosque Lamp

Arts of the Islamic World

Enameled glass lamps like this hung from a mosque ceiling on chains. The illuminated glow of the lamp symbolized divine light and, by extension, the presence of God. The Mamluk period in Egypt and Syria produced some of the finest examples of such lamps, which were commissioned to illuminate the interiors of Mamluk mosques and charitable foundations. This is the most characteristic type, with a flared neck, a rounded body with six handles, and a wide foot. It is one of the few Mamluk mosque lamps, however, with its wick still intact.

MEDIUM Colorless glass; blue, green, red, and white enamels; and gold; free blown, applied, enameled, and gilded; tooled on the pontil
DATES 13th-14th century
DYNASTY Mamluk
PERIOD Mamluk Period
DIMENSIONS includes base, now detached: 12 x 8 in. (30.5 x 20.3 cm) without base, now detached: 9 1/2 x 8 in. (24.1 x 20.3 cm) base (now detached): 2 1/2 x 4 in. (6.4 x 10.2 cm)  (show scale)
INSCRIPTIONS In Arabic in thuluth script, "al-`aalim" / "the wise," repeated around body three times. See Rich Text Inscription for Arabic text.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 21.484
CREDIT LINE Bequest of William H. Herriman
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Mosque Lamp, 13th-14th century. Colorless glass; blue, green, red, and white enamels; and gold; free blown, applied, enameled, and gilded; tooled on the pontil, includes base, now detached: 12 x 8 in. (30.5 x 20.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of William H. Herriman, 21.484. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 21.484_during_treatment_view1_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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RECORD COMPLETENESS Good (72%)
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