Candlestick, Brass; inlaid with silver, gold, and black compound


late 13th–first half 14th century
Attributed to Western Iran, Northern Iraq or Northern Syria
Brass; inlaid with silver, gold, and black compound
H. 12 7/16 in. (31.6 cm)
Diam. 10 5/8 in. (27 cm)
Credit Line:
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891
Accession Number:
Not on view
In the medallions decorating this candlestick sits a ruler on a lion‑throne with harpies and attendants, and figures holding a crescent personifying the Moon. Arabic inscriptions around the base and neck wish the owner well and list his princely titles, reinforcing the themes of royal authority and prosperity conveyed in the imagery.
Inscription: Arabic, on neck, body, and rim of top of body; (on neck) "Glory, Triumph, Prosperity, Kindness, Salvation, and Favors ... Glory and .. Kindness, Munificence, Favors, and Fortune"; (on top of body) "Prosperity, Fortune, Munificence, Generosity, Favors to the Owner, Happiness, Salvation, Long life" [the following inscription has been added later: "The Owner is Zeineb, daughter of Amir of the believers al-Hadi li-din-Allah"]; (on body) "Glory to our Lord, The greatest King, the great Sultan, the wise, the Just, the Fighter for the Faith, the Warden of Islam, the Generous".

Translation by Yassir al-Tabba (1978):
-Band on neck: "Glory and victory, true prosperity, generosity and praise, virtues, glory, survival, generosity, virtues, dignity, and wealth, generosity, virtue, survival";
-Shoulder: "Generosity, virtue, survival, virtue to its owner, and happiness, security and longevity ... ... Zaynab daughter of the commander of the faithful al-Mahdi li-Din Allah, prosperity to our lord, the king, the greatest, the great sultan, the wise, the just, the fighter for the faith, the warrior, the honored".
Edward C. Moore, New York (until d. 1891; bequeathed to MMA)
New York. Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. "The Educated Eye," January 1973–February 1973, no catalogue.

Mexico City. Colegio de San Ildefonso. "Arte islamico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York," September 30, 1994–January 8, 1995, no. 82.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Following the Stars: Images of the Zodiac in Islamic Art," February 4, 1997–August 31, 1997, no. 2.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Nature of Islamic Ornament, Part IV: Figural Representation," September 16, 1999–January 30, 2000, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Rumi," October 15, 2007–March 5, 2008, no catalogue.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Daniel S. Walker, Arturo Ponce Guadián, Sussan Babaie, Stefano Carboni, Aimee Froom, Marie Lukens Swietochowski, Tomoko Masuya, Annie Christine Daskalakis-Matthews, Abdallah Kahil, and Rochelle Kessler. "Colegio de San Ildefonso, Septiembre de 1994-Enero de 1995." In Arte Islámico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1994. no. 82, pp. 208-209, ill. p. 209 (color).

Carboni, Stefano. Following the Stars: The Zodiac in Islamic Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997. no. 2, pp. 10-11, ill. (b/w).