Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Candlestick with Enthronement Scene

Object Name:
second quarter 13th century
Jazira, probably Mosul; Iraq
Brass; engraved, incised, inlaid with silver
H. 9 9/16 in. (24.4 cm) Diam. 14 1/2 in. (36.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 999
This sophisticated candlestick illustrates various scenes celebrating the sovereign’s power over both earth and cosmos: images of the planets appear alongside scenes of him slaying a lion and enjoying a royal feast. His authority becomes most evident in the enthronement scene. Here, a bearded figure bends to kiss the ruler’s right hand, alluding to the obligation of kissing the sovereign’s hand or the floor before him. This courtly display of obeisance demonstrated the ruler’s supremacy and the loyalty of his subjects.
Inscription: Arabic, on top; translation: "Praise [belongs to God;] (name of restorer) `Ali son of Ahmad, son of Al-`Abbas" (Trans. N. Martinovitch). This is the name of the repairer. "`Ali son of " is in smaller, rougher script, and may have been added later. There is a possiblitly that the word for praise should be read as the name Ahmad. (M. Sobernheim, 1913-4. HMcA 1940)
Copy of transcription and translation in curatorial file
Edward C. Moore, New York (until d. 1891; bequeathed to MMA)
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Mohammedan Decorative Arts. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1930. p. 113, ill. fig. 52 (b/w).

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 146, ill. fig. 87 (b/w).

Baer, Eva. Metalwork in Medieval Islamic Art. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1983. p. 268, ill. fig. 218 (b/w).

Canby, Sheila R., Deniz Beyazit, Martina Rugiadi, and A. C. S. Peacock. "The Great Age of the Seljuqs." In Court and Cosmos. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016. no. 72, p. 142, ill. (color).

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