Candlestick, brass, engraved and inlaid with gold, silver, and a black substance
Iraq, Mosul; c. 1300-1330
H: 19.4; Diam: 24.5 cm
The candlestick, which is missing the top part of the candleholder, belongs to a rare type. While by far the majority of candlesticks from the Islamic world have a circular base, far fewer have a nine-sided base like this one.
The candlestick was most probably made in Mosul, which was a famous center for inlaid metalwork in the 13th century. It is almost incredibly densely decorated with many different kinds of patterns that are only partly controlled by the angular shape. It is noteworthy that the large roundels alternately fill out the flat parts and are placed so that they are intersected by a vertical edge.
The inscriptions between them and along the upper edge are of the kind found so frequently, with wishes for honor, a long life, and prosperity for the candlestick’s anonymous owner.
Inv. no. 27/1972
Christie's, London, 23/10-1972, lot 71;
André Leth: Davids Samling. Islamisk kunst = The David Collection. Islamic Art, København 1975, pp. 77-78;
Eva Baer: Metalwork in medieval Islamic art, Albany 1983, pp. 30 and 35, fig. 25;
Esin Atil, W. T. Chase, Paul Jett: Islamic metalwork in the Freer Gallery of Art, Freer Gallery of Art, Washington 1985, pp. 113-114, fig. 44;
Art from the World of Islam. 8th-18th century, Louisiana, Humlebæk 1987, cat.no. 125;
Kjeld von Folsach: Islamic art. The David Collection, Copenhagen 1990, cat.no. 328;
Kjeld von Folsach, Torben Lundbæk and Peder Mortensen (eds.): Sultan, Shah and Great Mughal: the history and culture of the Islamic world, The National Museum, Copenhagen 1996, cat.no. 255;
Kjeld von Folsach: Art from the World of Islam in The David Collection, Copenhagen 2001, cat.no. 509;
Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom (eds.): Cosmophilia. Islamic Art from the David Collection, Copenhagen, McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, Boston 2006, cat.no. 115;
Rachel Ward (ed.): Court and craft: a masterpiece from Northern Iraq, Courtauld Gallery, London 2014, cat.no. 26, pp. 146-147;