Mosque Lamp of Amir Qawsun

Maker: 'Ali ibn Muhammad al-Barmaki ?

Object Name: Mosque lamp

Date: ca. 1329–35

Geography: Attributed to Egypt

Medium: Glass, colorless with brown tinge; blown, blown applied foot, enameled and gilded

Dimensions: H. 14 1/8 in. (35.9 cm)
Max. diam. 10 1/16 in. (25.6 cm)
Diam. with handles 10 5/16 in. (26.2 cm)

Classification: Glass

Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Accession Number: 17.190.991


Large glass lamps of this type were commissioned by sultans and members of their court for mosques, madrasas (Qur'anic schools), tombs, hospices, and other public buildings in fourteenth-century Mamluk Cairo. This example bears the name of its patron, Qawsun (d. 1342), amir of the Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qalaun (r. 1293–1341 with brief interruptions), and was probably intended for one of his two architectural commissions in Cairo—a mosque or a tomb-hospice complex.