Copper & Silver Inlaid Hexagonal Brass Mosque Candlestick
Egypt or Syria
height: 25.5cm, width of base: 22.5cm, weight: 2,901g
This fine, six-sided brass candlestick has been engraved and inlaid with silver and copper strips in broad bands of Kufic script, no doubt incorporating Koranic versus and invoking the various names of God, as well as bands of Islamic-inspired arabesques. The form of this candlestick is that which is classically associated with use in mosques and is designed to sit on the floor. Such candlesticks tended to have either rounded or hexagonal bases with the hexagonal being particularly pleasing.
Originally, a Mamluk was a soldier of slave origin. There developed a Mamluk warrior class particularly in various regions of the Levant and Middle East and in the thriteenth century, Mamluk factions seized power in Egypt and Syria, establishing what became known as the Mamluk Sultanate (1250–1517). Fine examples of inlaid metalwork were made during this time, and when the crafts was revived in Syria and Egypt during the nineteenth century the works were known as Mamluk Revival metalwork.
There are no obvious losses to the inlay. Nor are there any repairs. The candlestick has a fine patina from use.
Ward, R., Islamic Metalwork, British Museum Press, 1993.
UK art market
Inventory no.: 1721