Name of Object:

Candlestick base


Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Holding Museum:

Burrell Collection, Glasgow Museums

About Burrell Collection, Glasgow Museums, Glasgow

Date of Object:

Hegira, late 7th–early 8th century / AD late 13th–early 14th century

Museum Inventory Number:

BC 33.182

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Sheet copper, beaten and inlaid with gold and silver.


Height 10.1 cm, diameter (of base) 19.6 cm

Period / Dynasty:





The base of a Mamluk candlestick made of beaten sheet copper that has been gilded with brass and inlaid with silver and gold. The drip-tray that would have sat on the top rim of the base is missing. The body is decorated with a wide band of naskhi script divided into two sections by two roundels. The main decorative fields are embellished with fine floral scrolls inlaid with silver. The inscription, which is inlayed with silver, describes the attributes of the patron who commissioned the candlestick but does not mention his name! Many such candlesticks would have been presented for use in mosques, shrines, and religious schools in Egypt. The Mamluk rulers of Egypt and Syria became great patrons of art and architecture. Cairo was their capital, which they ruled from AH 647 / AD 1250 to AH 922 / AD 1517.

View Short Description

Many metal candlesticks like this one were commissioned during the Mamluk period to be presented for use in mosques, shrines and religious schools. The Arabic calligraphic script describes the titles and allegiances of the Mamluk patron who commissioned the candlestick.

How date and origin were established:

Stylistic analysis: the titles written on the base are typical Mamluk titles of the late 7th to early 8th / late 13th century to early 14th centuries.

How Object was obtained:

Part of the collection given to the City of Glasgow by Sir William and Lady Burrell in 1944.

How provenance was established:

The titles written on the base are typical Mamluk titles of the late 7th–early 8th / late 13th–early 14th centuries.

Selected bibliography:

Brend, B., Islamic Art , London, 1991.

Jones, D., and Michell, G., (ed.), The Arts of Islam, exhibition catalogue, London, 1976.

Ward, R., Islamic Metalwork, London, 1993.

Citation of this web page:

Noorah Al-Gailani "Candlestick base" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020.;ISL;uk;Mus04;17;en

Prepared by: Noorah Al-GailaniNoorah Al-Gailani

Noorah Al-Gailani is Curator for Islamic Civilisations at Glasgow Museums, Scotland. With a BA in Interior Design from the College of Fine Arts, Baghdad University and three years' experience in design and folk art preservation, she moved to the UK in 1992. On completing her MA in Museum Studies at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London in 1994, she worked as Project Officer at the Grange Museum of Community History documenting the presence of Muslim communities in the London Borough of Brent. In 1995 she was Assistant Curator, Ancient Monuments Laboratory, English Heritage, and in 1996 became Curator for John Wesley's House and the Museum of Methodism in London. She co-authored The Islamic Year: Surahs, Stories and Celebrations (Stroud: Hawthorn Press, 2002) for non-Muslim children. Since 2003 she has been based at The Burrell Collection in Glasgow, working across the city's museums to interpret Islamic art and culture, ancient and modern, through research, exhibitions and educational activities.

Copyedited by: Mandi GomezMandi Gomez

Amanda Gomez is a freelance copy-editor and proofreader working in London. She studied Art History and Literature at Essex University (1986–89) and received her MA (Area Studies Africa: Art, Literature, African Thought) from SOAS in 1990. She worked as an editorial assistant for the independent publisher Bellew Publishing (1991–94) and studied at Bookhouse and the London College of Printing on day release. She was publications officer at the Museum of London until 2000 and then took a role at Art Books International, where she worked on projects for independent publishers and arts institutions that included MWNF’s English-language editions of the books series Islamic Art in the Mediterranean. She was part of the editorial team for further MWNF iterations: Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean Virtual Museum and the illustrated volume Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean.

True to its ethos of connecting people through the arts, MWNF has provided Amanda with valuable opportunities for discovery and learning, increased her editorial experience, and connected her with publishers and institutions all over the world. More recently, the projects she has worked on include MWNF’s Sharing History Virtual Museum and Exhibition series, Vitra Design Museum’s Victor Papanek and Objects of Desire, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s online publication 2 or 3 Tigers and its volume Race, Nation, Class.

MWNF Working Number: UK4 23


 Artistic Introduction

 Timeline for this item

Islamic Dynasties / Period


On display in

See also


As PDF (including images) As Word (text only)