Oil lamp, yellowish glass with applied threads
Iran or Central Asia; 10th-11th century
H: 12.5; Diam: 12 cm
A cylinder attached to the base inside the oil lamp was intended to hold the wick in the center. Along the outside is a decoration of glass threads forming suspension rings at the top for a metal hanging, now missing. Below the rings, the threads create a number of bosses that partly conceal the oil lamp’s circular base, revealing that the lamp could both hang and stand.
The lack of decoration proper creates a measure of uncertainty in dating oil lamps of this type, which can be seen as a precursor of the famous enameled lamps from 13th-14th-century Egypt and Syria (D 32/1986
). The lamp’s yellowish glass was admirably suited to the light that came from its burning wick.
Inv. no. 14/1964
Journal of Glass Studies, 11, 1969, fig. 19, p. 112;
C .L. Davids Samling. Fjerde Del : Jubilæumsskrift 1945-70, København 1970, cat.no. 21;
André Leth: Davids Samling. Islamisk kunst = The David Collection. Islamic Art, København 1975, p. 12;
Kjeld von Folsach: Islamic art. The David Collection, Copenhagen 1990, cat.no. 226;
Avinoam Shalem: “Fountains of light: the meaning of medieval Islamic rock crystal lamps” in Muqarnas, 11, 1994, p. 7, fig. 7;
Kjeld von Folsach: Art from the World of Islam in The David Collection, Copenhagen 2001, cat.no. 328;