DEPARTMENTS WITH COLLECTIONS . . METAL AND JEWELLERY DEPARTMENT . . 3 / 8

Candlestick

Asia Minor, mid 13th – early 14th century

bronze, cast, remnants of adornment in gold and silver

R 19,5 cm, h 20,5 cm

MAA Inv. No. 5896

This bronze candlestick was made in the workshops of Asia Minor during the Seljuk period. From its base, shaped like a flat truncated cone, a cylindrical neck rises, topped with the candle socket. Its decoration is engraved, and its surface reveals remnants of adornment in gold and silver.

During the Middle Ages, there were in Persia, Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt numerous workshops producing objects in metal – candlesticks, boxes for pens and other writing instruments, mirrors and various vessels. These objects were decorated using a special technique – previously engraved drawings were adorned with miniscule wires and leaves of gold, silver, copper and tin.

The candlestick is one of the most representative objects of Islamic art the Museum keeps. Its decoration, dominated by motives of court life, is divided into friezes. It consists of figuration, ornaments and inscriptions.

Mediaeval Islamic art is familiar with a great number of metal objects decorated with scenes from court life (feasts, hunting and other forms of entertainment), accompanied by inscriptions wishing the owner a long and successful life. Similar decorations can be found in objects in ceramics and book illumination.

This kind of candlesticks can be found in museums in London, Paris, Berlin, Cologne, Naples, Ankara, Konya and Bursa, as well as in numerous collections of Islamic art.