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Collecting Turkmen Jewelry: The Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf Collection


Mosque Lamp of Amir Qawsun

'Ali ibn Muhammad al-Barmaki ?

Object Name:
Mosque lamp
ca. 1329–35
Glass, colorless with brown tinge; blown, blown applied foot, enameled and gilded
H. 14 1/8 in. (35.9 cm) Max. diam. 10 1/16 in. (25.6 cm) Diam. with handles 10 5/16 in. (26.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
  • Description

    Part of the Light Verse adorns the neck of this lamp, with three large medallions bearing the patron’s emblem, a split field with cup. On the body, the inscription names Saif al‑Din Qawsun, Cupbearer of Sultan al‑Nasir Muhammad. Signatures were unusual for glass, but here a second inscription on the foot names the maker.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: On neck: Verse from the Qur'an, ch. 24 "Surat al-Nur" ('The Light'), beginning of verse 35. "God is the light of the heavens and the earth. The semblance of His light us that of a niche in which is a lamp."
    (Translation from al-Qur'an by Ahmed Ali, 1984, p. 301)

    On body: 'That which was made for his excellency, the exalted, the lord, the royal, the well-served Sayf al-Din Qawsun, the Cupbearer of al-Malik al-Nasir."

    On foot: "The work of the poor slave [of God] Ali ibn Muhammad al-Barmaki[?], may God safeguard him."
    (Translation by Stefano Carboni, Glass of the Sultans, 2001, pp. 232-33)

    On body: "Of what was made by order of his Excellency, the Exalted, the Lord, the Sovereign, the Well-Served, As-Seifi, Kusun-el-Saki, the King, the Victorious."

    On base: "Work of the poor slave Ali ibn Muhammad al-Ramaki (or Zamaki)."
    (Translation by N. Martinovitch)

    On body: "This is one of the objects made for His High Excellency, our Lord, the Royal, the Well-Served, Saif-ad din Qausun, the cup-bearer of al Malik an Nasir."
    (Translation by L.A. Mayer in Saracenic Heraldry, 1933, p. 186)

    On foot: "Made by the humble servant Ali son of Muhammed son of Makki (MK) God have mercy upon him."
    (Translation by H. McAllister(?), 1954)

  • Provenance

    Charles Mannheim, Paris (by 1898–d. 1910; his sale, Galerie Georges Petit,Paris, 1910, no. 133); J. Pierpont Morgan, New York (until d. 1913; his estate 1913–17; gifted to MMA)

  • See also