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Mosque-lamp-shaped Vessel with Arabic Inscriptions

Object Name:
Mosque lamp
Date:
1525–40
Geography:
Turkey, Iznik
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Stonepaste; painted in blue under transparent glaze
Dimensions:
H. 6 11/16 in. (17 cm) Max. diam. 5 13/16 in. (14.8 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1959
Accession Number:
59.69.3
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 460
With its delicate spiraling stem design, this small vessel belongs to a group of ceramics formerly referred to as "Golden Horn" wares. Current scholarship, however, prefers the term tughrakes-, or "tughra‑illuminator" style for such decoration, comparing its design to the fine swirling vines adorning tughra calligraphies. During this period, pottery shapes often imitated metalwork forms. This piece, however, emulates glass mosque lamps, which often displayed Arabic inscriptions.
Inscription: Inscription in distorted Arabic in thuluth script:
[sic]لا فتا إلا علي/ لا سيف إلا ذالفقار
No brave youth except ‘Ali, no sword except Dhu’l faqar

Below this, in distorted Arabic in kufic script, repeated two times:
الـ[ـلـ]ـملک لله الواحد
Dominion [belongs to] God, the One

Below in naskhi script:
عيش
The pleasure of life
Octave Homberg, Paris (by 1903–8; sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 11–18, 1908); [ Brimo de Laroussilhe, Paris, until 1959; sold to MMA]
Koechlin, R., and Gaston Migeon. "Ceramics, Fabrics, Carpets One Hundred Plates in Color." In Oriental Art. Paris, 1928. ill. pl. XXXIX, An almost identical lamp is illustrated.

Lane, Arthur. "Ottoman Pottery of Isnik." Ars Orientalis vol. 2 (1957). pp. 270-72.

"The Recent Acquisitions Room." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., vol. 18 (April 1960). pp. 269-271, ill. p. 271 (b/w).

Grube, Ernst J. "The Varieties of Islamic Art." Apollo, n.s., LXXXII, no. 43 (September 1965). p. 237, ill. fig. 5.

Denny, Walter B. The Ceramics of the Mosque of Rustem Pasha and the Environment of Change. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1977. p. 259, ill. fig. 3 (b/w).

Welch, Stuart Cary. The Islamic World. vol. 11. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. p. 116, ill. fig. 86 (color).

Atasoy, Nurhan, and Julian Raby. "The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey." In Iznik, edited by Yanni Petsopoulos. London: Thames and Hudson, 1989. no. 157, pp. 114-115, ill. (b/w), misprinted as 59.63.3.

Khoury, Nuhan N. N. "The Mihrab Image: Commemorative Themes in Medieval Islamic Architecture." Muqarnas vol. 9 (1992). p. 21, ill. fig. 12 (b/w).

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 208, pp. 286, 299-300, ill. p. 300 (color).



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