Mosque Lamp with Suspension-ball

clear glass with a grey tinge, mould-blown; with enamelled and gilt decoration; applied handles; metal suspension rings attached to silk cord

32.3 x 22cm (lamp); 70.5cm (overall height, with ball and cord)

The lamp has six handles and enamelled decoration in red, blue and white. The decorative repertoire includes an inscription interrupted by three medallions, each containing either a phoenix or an inscription, and rosettes, fleurs-de-lis and other floral designs and epigraphic blazons. The suspension-ball is also enamelled, with two epigraphic blazons alternating with two medallions containing fleurs-de-lis. A Mamluk lamp with a similar decorative scheme was transferred in the late 19th century from the mosque of Sultan Hasan in Cairo to the Museum of Arab Art, where it may have served as a model for this European copy. The Mamluk lamp had by that time lost nearly all traces of the gilding that once adorned it.

S. Vernoit, Occidentalism. Islamic Art in the 19th Century, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume XXIII, London 1997, cat.180, p.233.