Fragment of a mosque lamp, colorless glass, decorated with polychrome enamel and gilded
Egypt or Syria; 14th century
H: 26 cm
The various Mamluk sultans and emirs demonstrated their wealth and religiosity by commissioning religious buildings in Cairo and Damascus. These buildings were graced with oil lamps with colorful decorations and inscriptions in enamel and gold.
In many cases, the inscriptions gave the name of the patron, whose identity could also be revealed in the emblems on the lamps. This is not true of this lamp, whose patron is unknown. The inscription was taken from the “throne verse” in Koran’s sura 2, which deals with the omnipotence of God. The decoration is of a very high quality, indicating that the lamp must have come from an important building.
Inv. no. D 32/1986
Carl Johan Lamm: Mittelalterliche Gläser und Steinschnittarbeiten aus dem Nahen Osten, Berlin 1930, pl. 191:12;
Kjeld von Folsach: Islamic art. The David Collection, Copenhagen 1990, cat.no. 248;
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. 28;
Kjeld von Folsach: Art from the World of Islam in The David Collection, Copenhagen 2001, cat.no. 347;
Andrea Gropp, Werner Pöhling (eds.): Häuser der Weisheit: Wissenschaft im goldenen Zeitalter des Islam, Kultur- und Stadthistorisches Museum Duisburg, Mainz am Rhein 2015, fig. 6, p. 10;