Mosque Lamp for the Mausoleum of Amir Aydakin al-'Ala'i al-Bunduqdar
shortly after 1285
Egypt, probably Cairo
Glass, brownish; blown, folded foot, applied handles; enameled and gilded
H. 10 3/8 in. (26.4 cm)
Diam. of rim 8 1/4 in. (21 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 454
This lamp’s inscriptions reveal that it was ordered for Aidakin’s mausoleum (turba), a building still standing in Cairo. Mamluk amirs adopted emblems, often connected with their ceremonial roles at court, which decorated the objects and buildings they commissioned. Here, the motif of two gold crossbows against a red shield illustrates the office of bunduqdar (bow‑keeper).
Inscription: Inscription in Arabic in thuluth script on neck and body:
ممما عمل برسم تربة المقر العالي/ العلائي البندقدار/ قدس الله روحه
From [the objects] that were made for the tomb of His High Excellency
al-‘Ala’i al-Bunduqdar (the keeper of the bow), may God sanctify his soul
Emile Gaillard, Paris (until d. 1904; sale, Hôtel Gaillard,Paris, June 7–16, 1904, lot 579, to Morgan); J. Pierpont Morgan, New York (1904–d. 1913; his estate 1913–17; gifted to MMA)
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