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Engraved Lamp Stand with Cartouches and Medallions

Object Name:
Candlestick
Date:
16th century
Geography:
Iran
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Brass; cast, engraved, and inlaid with black compound
Dimensions:
H. 10 1/4 in. (26.0 cm)
Classification:
Metal
Credit Line:
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891
Accession Number:
91.1.573
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 462
This distinctive tall, cylindrical shape is characteristic of a group of Safavid lamp stands which share a similar silhouette and ornamentation. Many are covered with lyrical and mystical verses by celebrated poets of the period, reflecting the important relationship between Persian poetry and the visual arts. Linked cartouches contain arabesques, animal motifs and calligraphic blessings, as well as lines in nasta’liq which read:
"To holy men thy face is light and seeing thy face is my light. Like men of heart I see my light only when near thee. Thou art the aim of the world; without thee it is nothing. I see all the world as a small thing of thee. ...candle; if you don't burn. I am a beggar; one day near thee..."
Inscription: Inscriptions in Persian; translation: "To holy men thy face is light and seeing thy face is my light. Like men of heart I see my light only when near thee. Thou art the aim of the world; without thee it is nothing. I see all the world as a small thing of thee. ...candle; if you don't burn. I am a beggar; one day near thee..... (from the poem "The Moth and the Candle"); (in medallions): "Happiness, Opportunity, Power, Triumph, Health, Glory".

All inscription are in nasta’liq script.
Top:

چراغ دل را روشن از روي تو می بینم همه صاحب دلان را روی دل سوي تو مي بینم
توي مقصود عالم کم مبادا از سرت موئي که عالم را طفیل یک سر موي تو مي بینم
Middle register:
امشب ای شمع گر نسوزي تو از براي کدام روزي تو
Middle register continued:
دولت باد/ سعادت باد/ فرصت باد/ عزت باد / نصرت باد/ عاقبت خیر باد
bottom:
از آن کردم بشمع آشنائي که با ........ روشنائي
...........داغ میطلبم بعشق لاله رخان یکچراغ میطلبم
A.Ghouchani
Edward C. Moore, New York (until d. 1891; bequeathed to MMA)
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