Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Candlestick with Figural Imagery

Object Name:
first half 14th century
Attributed to Iran or Iraq
Brass; cast, engraved, and inlaid with silver and black compound
Max. H. 9 5/16 in. (23.7 cm) Max. W. at base: 8 3/8 in. (21.2 cm) Diam. of bottom: 8 3/8 in. (21.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455
This unusual nine‑sided candlestick is ornamented with figural scenes executed in an intricate inlay of precious metals, including silver and gold. Its decoration includes carefully drawn depictions of courtly pastimes—enthroned figures entertained by musicians and mounted riders playing polo or hunting.
Inscription: Arabic, on lower border and top of base;
To the owner of this, Happiness, Safety, a Life long as a pigeon's cooing...
Prosperity until the day of resurrection and eternal Prosperity... and long days

- Translation of Arabic inscription by Yassir al-Tabba (1978):

To its owner happiness, security and longevity as long as a pigeon coos. May he remain in the shadow of sovereignty achieving his purpose and I wish that his life will be long and glory unmarred by contempt and prosperity to the Day of Judgment and assurance on the prosperity for as long as you wish and...along the days

At the bottom, middle and on the neck there is are decorative inscriptions.

The name of the owner in thultuh script appears as:
یحیی ابن علي راجح

And some words most of which are unreadable ending with the words:
... المولوي العا ...

Edward C. Moore (American, New York 1827–1891 New York), New York (until d. 1891; bequeathed to MMA)
Museum für Islamische Kunst, Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. "The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the M.M.A.," June 15, 1981–August 8, 1981, no. 40.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Riding Across Central Asia: Images of the Mongolian Horse in Islamic Art," April 26, 2000–November 12, 2000, no catalogue.

London. British Museum. "Ming: Courts and Contacts 1400–1450," September 18, 2014–January 4, 2015.

"Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York." In The Arts of Islam. Berlin, 1981. no. 40, pp. 110-111, ill. p. 111 (color).

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