Candlestick

brass or copper alloy, with traces of inlay in black compound

39 x 27cm

The candlestick bears inscriptions in the name of an amir, Shadbak al-Ashrafi – a Mamluk in the service of a sultan whose throne-name (laqab) was al-Malik al-Ashraf – broken by roundels with tripartite blazons showing the penbox of a dawadar or secretary of state and two cups of a cup-bearer (saqi). A Shadbak al-Julbani, while en poste as Atabak of Damascus built a madrasah there in 1453, the inscription of which accords him the title of dawadar: He was buried there on his death in Jumada al-thani 887 (July–August 1482). To judge from the date of its foundation, his royal master must have been al-Malik al-Ashraf Barsbay (r 1422–1438).

J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.223, pp.188–9.