Candlestick or Torch Stand

Location: Ottoman Turkey

Materials: brass, cast in five reverse-threaded sections, with traces of gilding.

Dimensions: 93.5 x 33cm

Accession Number: MTW 1283

Other Notes:

This could have been used as a candlestick, a torch stand or an oil lamp, or as all three. Its shape, with a proliferation of knops and rings along its tall neck, almost suggests a piece of turned wood. Yet such detailing can be traced back to much earlier Islamic metal lampstands from 12th-century Iran and Egypt. The Ottoman variety, with its bulbous mouth and semi-globular foot, relates most closely, though, to a Timurid prototype such as that made in 1396–7 for the shrine of Ahmed Yasavi in at Gorod Turkistan in Kazakhstan by a metalworker from Isfahan [see MTW 1531]. The inclusion of a tulip-shaped boss is, however, an Ottoman innovation.

A close parallel in the British Museum bears an inscription in the name of Rüstem Pasha, the grand vizier and son-in-law of Süleyman the Magnificent, made for his mosque in the Greek fortress of Monemvasia, which was ceded to the Ottomans by Venice in 1540.


J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.349, pp.294–5.