A Mamluk silver- and copper-inlaid brass candlestick, Egypt or Syria, 1340-5
- silver and copper
Ex-Collection Rudolf, Graf von Hoyos-Sprinzenstein (1821-1896), Vienna.
1897 Sold at Auction: Katalog der... Kunstsammlung Graf Rudolf Hoyos (XCIV. Kunstauktion H. O. Mietke), Vienna, 26 April 1897, no.283.
1933 Listed as "present owner unknown" (Leo Mayer, Saracenic Heraldry, Oxford, 1933, pp.236].
Published by Joseph von Karabacek, "Ein dascenischer Leuchter des XIV. Jahrhunderts", in Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft, vol.I, Vienna, 1876, pp.265ff., and 3 figs.
Described and reproduced in auction catalogue Katalog der... Kunstsammlung Graf Rudolf Hoyos (XCIV. Kunstauktion H. O. Mietke), Vienna, 26 April 1897, no.283.
Mentioned by Max van Berchem, 'Notes', in Journal Asiatique, 1904, I, p.80, footnote. Also mentioned in 'Matériaux pour un Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum. Première partie: Égypte', by Max van Berchem (ed.), in Mémoires publiés par les membres de l'Institut français d'Archéologie orientale du Caire 52, 1894–1903, 387, n.4.
Discussed by Moritz Sobernheim, 'Arabische Gefässinschriften von der Ausstellung islamischer Kunst in Paris', in Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins, vol.XXVIII, 1905, pp.186ff., pl.VIII c, d, e [Sobernheim corrects several mistakes made by Karabacek in the reading of the inscription]
Mentioned by Gaston Migeon, Manuel d'art musulman, Paris, 1st edition, 1907, p.356; and again in the 2nd edition, 1927, p.136.
Mentioned by Gaston Wiet, Catalogue General du Musée arabe du Caire. Objets en Cuivre, Cairo, 1932, p.208, no.213
Discussed by Leo Mayer, Saracenic Heraldry, Oxford, 1933, pp.236-7, [listed as "present owner unknown", p.236].
Around the neck:
al-janab al-ali al-mawlawi al-amiri al-sayfi qushtamar ustad al-dar al-karima tughuztamar
'His High excellency, the Lordly, the Commander, al-Sayfi (Sayf al-Din) Qushtumur the Major-domo of the noble house of Tuquztamur'
Around the shoulder:
al-janab al-ali al-mawlawi al-amiri al-kabiri al-makhdumi / al-sayfi qushtamar ustad al-dar al-karima tughuztamar amir-i majlis 'azza nasruhu
'His High excellency, the Lordly, the great Commander, the Well-served, al-Sayfi (Sayf al-Din) Qushtumur the Major-domo of the noble house of Tuquztamur, the Amir of the court, may his victory be glorious''
Around the body:
al-janab al-ali al-mawlawi al-amiri al-kabir/i al-sayfi qushtumar ustad al-dar al-karima tughuztamar amir-i majlis 'azza nasruhu
'His High excellency, the Lordly, the great Commander, al-Sayfi (Sayf al-Din) Qushtumur the Major-domo of the noble house of Tuquztamur, the Amir of the court, may his victory be glorious''
Tuquztamur al-Hamawi began his career as a mamluk of the statesman-scholar Imad al-Din Abu'l-Fida Ismail, (see Atil, E, Renaissance of Islam, Washington, 1981, no.24). He was presented to the sultan, Nasir al-Din Muhammad Ibn Qala'un, who dubbed him saqi ('Cup-bearer') and in 731 AH/1330-1 AD raised him to the office of amir majlis ('Amir of the Assembly'). He went on to receive a number of prestigious appointments, serving as Viceroy of Egypt (1340-1), Governor of Hama (September-October 1341), Governor of Aleppo (1342) and finally Viceroy of Syria from Rajab 743 until Rabi I, 746 AH/December 1342-July 1345 AD.
Towards the end of his life, and following the example of other senior Mamluk emirs, Tuquztamur built a small khanaqah alongside his own mausoleum in the southern cemetery of Cairo. His most important architectural commission, however, is the bridge over the Great Canal (see M. Meinecke, Die mamlukische Architektur in Ägypten und Syrien (648/1250 bis 923/1517), Abhandlungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts Kairo, Islamische Reihe, 5. Glückstadt, Germany, 1992, vol.1, pp.191-2, 204). Tuquztamur died in Cairo in Jumada I, 746 AH/September 1345 AD.
Tuquztamur's distinctive shield-form blazon with a white eagle and cup on a red-ground is found on a small group of luxury objects (see L. Mayer, Saracenic Heraldry, Oxford, 1933, pp.235-239), including:
1. A gold, silver and copper-inlaid vase in the Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo, inv. no. 15125 (ex-Hariri collection) (Mayer 1933, p.235, no.1, and pl.XVI).
2. and 3. Two gilded and enamelled glass mosque lamps in the British Museum, inv. nos.69.6-24.1 and 69.6-24.2 (Mayer 1933, p.236, nos.2, 3).
4. A silver and copper-inlaid candlestick - the present example - (ex-collection Rudolf, Graf von Hoyos-Sprinzenstein, Vienna) (Mayer 1933, p.236, no.4).
5. A brass bowl in Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, inv. no.906. 577 (Mayer 1933, p.237, no.5).
6. A silver-inlaid bowl in the Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo, inv. no. 15038 (ex-Hariri collection) (Mayer 1933, p.237, no.6; London 1976, p.193, no.222; and Atil 1981, no.27).
7. An enamelled glass bottle in Musée du Louvre, Paris (ex-collection Spitzer) (Catalogue des objets d'art et de haute curiosité antiques du Moyen-Age et du Renaissance. Collection Spitzer, Paris, 1893, no.1973 ; Mayer 1933, p.238, no.7).
The inscription on the candlestick states that it was made for Qushtumur, the majordomo of Tuquztamur. Qushtumur is also mentioned in inscriptions on the two basins in Cairo and Hamburg (nos.5 and 6 above; Mayer 1933, p.237, nos.5-6). As Mayer observes, all objects with the blazon of Tuquztamur "should be attributed to Tuquztamur, although they were issued by his major-domo" (Mayer 1933, p.236).