Name of Object:
Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey
Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
Date of Object:
first half of hegira 8th century / AD 14th century
Museum Inventory Number:
Material(s) / Technique(s):
glass; painted and enamelled in dark-blue, white, red, and gilding.
Height 27 cm, diameter (of mouth) 21 cm
Period / Dynasty:
A hanging mosque lamp, with a fat body and a long neck, that widens towards the top. Six loops are attached for hanging up the lamp from chains. The entire surface of the lamp's body, which is painted green on the inside, is decorated with compositions in dark-blue, white, red, and gilding which form inscription bands and geometric and floral designs. Since the decoration is enamelled, its raised appearance gives the lamp's body a sense of depth.
View Short Description
Hanging glass lamps were produced for lighting the holy areas and they were a divine symbol of the light. The glass lamps of the Mamluk period are decorated with the blazons of the rulers, which symbolise the power of the state.
Sayf al-Din Ilmalak, Jaukandar (polo-chief) of Mamluk sultan al-Nasir Muhammad (his third reign: 709-740 /1310-1340)
How date and origin were established:
The polo sticks, painted in white on a dark-blue background within round medallions, are characteristic of the Mamluk period. The inscriptions on the neck also indicate that the lamp was made for the Jaukandar Sayf al-Din Ilmalak, who served the Mamluk sultan al-Nasir Muhammad, and who built a madrasa in Cairo in 1319. Therefore, the lamp is dated to the first half of the 14th century.
How Object was obtained:
The item was brought from the Mevlana Tomb in Konya to the Tiled Pavilion (Çinili Köşk), Istanbul, in 1898 and then transferred to the Museum in 1911.
Kühnel, E.- M. A. Ogan, İstanbul Arkeoloji Müzelerinde Şaheserler, Vol. III, Çinili Köşk'de Türk ve İslam Eserleri Koleksiyonu, Berlin ve Leipzig, 1938, Tafel 28.
Citation of this web page:
Cihat Soyhan "Mosque lamp" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;tr;Mus01;23;en