Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Mosque Lamp of Amir Ahmad al-Mihmandar

Object Name:
Mosque lamp
ca. 1325
Egypt or Syria
Glass, colorless with brown tinge; blown, folded foot, applied wick holder and handles, enameled and gilded
H. 10 1/2in. (26.7cm) Max. diam. 8 3/16 in. (20.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 454
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, 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.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Renaissance of Islam: Art of the Mamluks," November 21, 1981–January 10, 1982.

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.

Related Objects

Mosque Lamp

Date: 14th century Medium: Glass, colorless with yellow tinge; blown, applied blown foot, enameled and gilded Accession: 91.1.1539 On view in:Gallery 454

Mosque Lamp for the Mausoleum of Amir Aydakin al-'Ala'i al-Bunduqdar

Date: shortly after 1285 Medium: Glass, brownish; blown, folded foot, applied handles; enameled and gilded Accession: 17.190.985 On view in:Gallery 454

Mosque Lamp of Sultan Barquq

Date: ca. 1382–99 Medium: Glass, colorless with brown tinge; blown, applied blown foot and handles, enameled and gilded Accession: 17.190.989 On view in:Gallery 454

"The Elephant Clock", Folio from a Book of the Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices by al-Jazari

Date: dated A.H. 715/A.D. 1315 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: 57.51.23 On view in:Gallery 454

Pyxis (Cylindrical Container)

Date: late 11th–early 12th century Medium: Stonepaste; luster-painted on incised, opaque white glaze Accession: 1998.298a, b On view in:Gallery 451