A LARGE MAMLUK BRASS CANDLESTICK MADE FOR AN OFFICER, SYRIA OR EGYPT, EARLY 14TH CENTURY
the body beaten and hammered, of truncated conical form with a concave drip-pan and a straight cylindrical neck with truncated conical socket, incised with a monumental thuluth inscription set against a ground of undulating and spiralling foliate scrolls with raised ridged bands above and below, the well of the drip-pan with a radial inscription, the neck with three large roundels each filled with mirrored stylised birds, the socket with a narrow inscription band
32cm. max. diam.
The surface very rubbed, only traces of silver-inlay remain, darker, nielloed areas, with nicks and some small dents, particularly to drip-tray, which also has two cracks and associated repairs (as visible to underside also), further dents to socket, remains of burnt wax candle to interior with traces of French newspaper, oxidisation visible to underside, as viewed.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Around the body:
‘His high excellency, the lord, the great Amir, the learned, the diligent, the conqueror, the holy warrior, the defender, the one helped (by God) [an officer of?] al-Nasir’
Around the rim:
‘His high excellency, the lord, the great Amir, the learned, the diligent, the conqueror’
Around the shoulder:
‘His high excellency, the lord, the great Amir, the learned, the diligent, the conqueror, the holy warrior, the defender, the protector of frontiers, the one helped (by God), the helper, the councilor, the administrator, the possessor, [an officer of?] al-Nasir’
This inscription, although little of the original silver-inlay remains, suggests that the present candlestick was produced for a high ranking officer, possibly Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qala'un (r.1294-1340). Two similar examples are to be found in the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo (Wiet 1932, nos.4043 and 3982, pls.XXXI-XXXII).