Name of Object:

Mosque lamp


Lisbon, Portugal

Holding Museum:

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

Date of Object:

Later than Hegira 23 Muharram 721 / AD 21 February 1321

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Honey-coloured blown glass with gilded decoration and enamelled in blue, red, pink, green, yellow and white.


Height 31 cm, diameter (of rim) 21 cm, diameter (max.) 20.5 cm, diameter (of base) 13.5 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Egypt or Syria.


Lamp in the form of a jar with six rings for suspending it and a tall truncated cone-shaped foot. It has an inscription in duplicate on the neck and on the rounded part with the following text: 'This is one of the objects made for the mausoleum of Amir Alan al-Din Ali, son of his Excellency Sayf al-Din Baktamur, al-hajib (chancellor), may God grant him mercy.' Three blazons divide the inscription on the neck into equal parts, while another three blazons alternate with stylised arabesques around the lower section of the rounded part. The tall foot has three medallions with simple trefoil motifs. The circular blazon is divided into three fields: the upper and lower areas are white, while the central field contains the image of a horse with a structure in the form of a cupola on its back.

View Short Description

The lamp’s inscription dates it to c. AH 721 / AD 1321: ‘This is one of the items made for the mausoleum of Amir Alan al-Din Ali, son of his Excellency Sayf al-Din Baktamur, al-hajib (the chancellor), may God grant him mercy’. The shape and decoration of the lamp are typical of the Mamluks.

Original Owner:

Amir Alin ibn Baktamur

How date and origin were established:

Dated, according to the inscription, a short time after the death of the Amir Ali ibn Baktamur, on 21 February 1329.

How Object was obtained:

It came from the collection of Baron Gustave de Rothschild, purchased from Philip Sassoon through Joseph Duveen, in London, on 8 November 1919.

How provenance was established:

By expert examination, stylistic and comparative analysis and published catalogues.

Selected bibliography:

Arte do Oriente Islâmico. Catálogo,Lisbon, 1963.
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian. Catálogo, Lisbon, 2nd edition 1989.
Only the Best: Masterpieces of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1999.
Ribeiro, M. Q. and Hallet, J., Os Vidros da Dinastia Mameluca no Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, 1999.

Citation of this web page:

Maria Queiroz Ribeiro "Mosque lamp" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2022.;ISL;pt;Mus01_A;36;en

Prepared by: Maria Queiroz RibeiroMaria Queiroz Ribeiro

Maria Queiroz Ribeiro é conservadora do departamento de Arte Islâmica do Museu Calouste Gulbenkian desde 1996, sendo responsável pelas secções de cerâmica, vidro e arte do livro. Tem comissariado diversas exposições: The World of Lacquer, Lisboa, 2001; Un Jardin Encantado, Arte Islámico en la Colección Calouste Gulbenkian, Madrid, 2001; Islamic Art in the Calouste Gulbenkian Collection, Abu Dhabi, 2004. Participou em colóquios internacionais no International Congress of Turkish Art, apresentando comunicações como Following the trail of Ottoman tiles in Portugal em Utrecht, 1999 e La céramique islamique dans la Collection Gulbenkian, no Musée de la Céramique de Sèvres, em 2003. É autora de Iznik Pottery of the Calouste Gulbenkian Collection, Lisboa, 1996 e co-autora de Mamluk Glass in the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisboa, 1999.

Translation by: Gilla Evans
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: PT 49


 Artistic Introduction

 Timeline for this item

Islamic Dynasties / Period


On display in


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