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Candlestick with Figural Imagery

Object Name:
Candlestick
Date:
first half 14th century
Geography:
Iran or Iraq
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Brass; cast, engraved, and inlaid with silver and black compound
Dimensions:
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)
Classification:
Metal
Credit Line:
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891
Accession Number:
91.1.580
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 ...

A.Ghouchani
Edward C. Moore, New York (until d. 1891; bequeathed to MMA)
"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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