According to its inscription, Ahmad al‑Mihmandar (d. 1332) donated this lamp—probably one of several— to the madrasa that he erected in Cairo in 1324–25. His blazon, a white disk charged with a gold shield against a red bar, appears six times, amid a Qur'anic inscription on the neck (Sura 9:18) and against dense foliage on the underside.
Inscription: On neck: Verse from the Qur'an, ch. 9 "Surat at-Tauba" ('Repentance'), beginning of verse 18. "Only those who belive in God and the Last Day" Translation from Ahmed Ali (Princeton University Press, 1984)
On body: "This is what was dedicated by the humble servant of God Almighty, hoping for the forgiveness of Allah Almighty, Ahmad al Mihmandar, Allah forgive him. (L.A. Mayer; Saracenic Heraldry, cf. p. 190) This is what was made a 'waqf' by the servant yearning for God the exalted, hoping for the pardon of Allah the Exalted, Ahmad al Mihmandar, may God forgive him his sins."
? Charles H.A. Schéfer, Paris; Edward C. Moore (American, New York 1827–1891 New York), New York (until d. 1891; bequeathed to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Calligraphy West of China," March 15, 1972–May 7, 1972, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Renaissance of Islam: Art of the Mamluks," November 21, 1981–January 10, 1982, suppl. #24.
New York. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. "Africa: the Art of a Continent," June 7, 1996–September 29, 1996.
Wypyski, Mark. Metropolitan Museum Studies in Art, Science, and Technology. vol. 1. New York, 2010. pp. 109, 111, 112, 114, 119, 120-1, 124, ill. figs. 3, 5.