Name of Object:
Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
Date of Object:
During the reign of Sultan Bayezid II (hegira 886–918 / AD 1481–1512)
Museum Inventory Number:
Material(s) / Technique(s):
Gilt copper, relief decoration and openwork.
Height 70 cm
Period / Dynasty:
The body of the lantern is hexagonal and gets narrower towards the top. Above the body is a dome with 12 perforated subdivisions and a knotted loop for hanging. Seven lamp holders project downward from the base. The door of the lantern has a single wing. The body has inscription bands in Persian at the top and bottom naming Sultan Bayezid II (r. AH 886–918 / AD 1481–1512), praising him and offering a short prayer. The areas between the inscription bands are decorated in openwork with medallions and half-medallions with arabesque pendants. The main ground is adorned with spiralling tendrils, chinoiserie motifs (e.g. peonies) and leaves. The dome is decorated with arabesques and palmette motifs in openwork. The decorative motifs are similar to those found on 9th- / 15th-century Ottoman tile work and arts of the book. The high number of surviving lanterns with similar subdivided domes and decorated with arabesques and chinoiserie motifs in engraving, relief, and openwork indicates that such lanterns were produced in large quantities in the second half of the AH 9th / AD 15th century. However, the questions of whether the craftsmen were Mamluk or Ottoman, and whether the lanterns were made in the Mamluk or the Ottoman dominions, remain open. This lantern is one of the best-known examples from this group.
View Short Description
This lantern's decoration closely parallels many examples of AH 9th- / AD 15th-century manuscript and tile arts. It is a beautiful example of gilded copperwork and is decorated in relief and openwork.
How date and origin were established:
The Persian inscription along the top and bottom of the lantern's body, insofar as it is legible, contains the name of Sultan Bayezid II (r. AH 886–918 / AD 1481–1512), a poem praising him and a short prayer.
How Object was obtained:
The lantern was brought to the Museum from the Tomb of Sultan Bayezid II in Istanbul on 29 September 1930.
Anadolu Medeniyetleri III, Selçuklu-Osmanlı (Anatolian Civilizations III, Seljuqs-Ottomans), Istanbul, 1983, p.118.
Citation of this web page:
Alev Özay "Lantern" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;tr;Mus01;19;en