Name of Object:

Pair of mihrab candlesticks


Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey

Holding Museum:

Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts

 About Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, Sultanahmet

Date of Object:

Around hegira 894 / AD 1488

Museum Inventory Number:

139 A-B

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Bronze, decorated with engraving and gilding.


Height 89 cm, diameter (of base) 73 cm

Period / Dynasty:

Early Ottoman


Each candlestick has a round base, a bell-shaped body, a cylindrical neck with a ring, and a wide candleholder. At the top and bottom of the body is a band of heart-shaped motifs with palmettes at their centres, a border repeated at the bottom of the neck. On the ring of the neck are large leaf motifs in relief. The neck itself is decorated with wavy lozenges featuring hatayi-style (peony) motifs shown both frontally and in profile. The candleholder is decorated with interlacing cartouches with inscriptions. The main part of the body is decorated with a wide inscription band on a background of peonies and spiralling tendrils. The inscription in Persian is a poem praising the light of the candlestick; the Arabic inscription reads: 'May Sultan Bayezid be preserved from calamities'; the inscription in Ottoman Turkish informs us that the candlesticks were made for the mosque of Sultan Bayezid II in Edirne. Both candlesticks are entirely gilded. The forms of these candlesticks recall Mamluk candlesticks.

View Short Description

When Ottoman sultans commissioned the construction of their mosques, they also ordered the production of candlesticks to be placed on both sides of the mihrab. These candlesticks were made for the Mosque of Bayezid II in Edirne and the inscriptions offer good wishes for the sultan.

Original Owner:

Sultan Bayezid II (r. AH 886–918 / AD 1481–1512)

How date and origin were established:

The mosque of Bayezid II in Edirne, named on the inscriptions of the candlesticks, was completed in 894 / 1488. Thus the candlesticks must have been produced at about the same time.

How Object was obtained:

The candlesticks were transferred to the Museum in 1911 from the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne.

Selected bibliography:

ölçer, N. et al, Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, Istanbul, 2002, p.247.

Roxburgh, D. J. (ed), Turks: A Journey of a Thousand Years, 600–1600, London, 2005, pp.441–2.

Citation of this web page:

Alev Özay "Pair of mihrab candlesticks" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020.;ISL;tr;Mus01;48;en

Prepared by: Alev Özay
Translation by: Barry Wood, İnci Türkoğlu
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: TR 78