12th century AD
copper alloy, piece cast with openwork and engraved decoration
90 x 36cm
This lampstand consists of a tray, a knobbed fitting below it, a faceted shaft and a domed base on three supports in the form of lynxes’ protomes. Perhaps for ease of transport the parts are detachable and have bayonet fittings for assembly. The lynxes’ blue eyes are made of small pieces of turquoise-glazed pottery. The edge of the domed base is scalloped and engraved or dotted with pairs of peacocks. The base bears a maker’s inscription in fine Kufic, ‘the work of the brass-maker’ and, unusually, a curse wishing death and destruction upon some unnamed tyrant.
J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.95, p.92.