View full screen - View 1 of Lot 65. A Fatimid bronze incense burner or oil lamp, Egypt, 10th-12th century.
65

A Fatimid bronze incense burner or oil lamp, Egypt, 10th-12th century

VAT reduced rate

Estimate:

30,000 - 50,000 GBP

A Fatimid bronze incense burner or oil lamp, Egypt, 10th-12th century

A Fatimid bronze incense burner or oil lamp, Egypt, 10th-12th century

Estimate:

30,000 - 50,000 GBP

the bronze body on four curved legs, with three spouts corresponding shaped hinged lid, ring-handle to rear, with tall openwork neck carved with foliate Kufic inscriptions along three walls


20.5 by 10 by 15.5cm. 

The surface with oxidisation and abrasion with associated discoloration consistent with age, as viewed. With accompanying conservation restoration report by Neil F. Perry-Smith confirming that "previous restoration was mechanically removed, revealing that calligraphic panels and handle were previously joined using lead, all sections original and belong, panel sections removed, mechanically cleaned and rejoined using polyester resin, abraded areas were toned-in with watercolours" dated 8/3/2011.


"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."

S. Al Khemir, Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World, Focus-Abengoa Foundation, 2014, p.52, fig.29.
Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World, Focus-Abengoa Foundation, Seville, 25 October 2013 - 9 February 2014; Dallas Museum of Art, Texas, 30 March 2014 - 29 June 2014.
inscriptions

'Muhammad is Blessed by Allah' in seven columns of calligraphy, also with: 'Allah', 'Ali', 'Muhammad'

In the exhibition catalogue Light, Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World in which this lamp is described, Sabiha Al Khemir notes that "this very interesting lamp which probably comes from the Maghreb or Egypt is decorated with openwork featuring the phrase: "Salla Allah 'ala Muhammad" (God's blessings upon Muhammad). Many oil lamps where in fact also used as incense burners, and some were designed to function as both at the same time. Openwork decoration is suitable for such pieces, as both light and scented smoke find their way out" (S. Al Khemir, Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World, Focus-Abengoa Foundation, 2014, p.53).

This lot is accompanied by a metallographic report in which samples from sections of the calligraphy and base of one of the legs were analysed by Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (XRF) and a polarizing light microscope (PLM) confirming long term natural corrosion process, consistent with a date in the Fatimid Period.