The oil lamp has a flattened globular body, the
top part is pierced with intricate floral
decoration. It has a long spout with a small
mouth, a double ring handle with a cylindrical
thumb piece, and a pierced hinged lid. The body
of the lamp stands on a highly stylized leaf -
During the Seljuk period, the arts were
encouraged not only by the sultans but also by
orders placed by emirs, the Atabegs, and the
members of wealthy merchant families. Cast
bronze vessels intended for everyday use were
manufactured and decorated with engravings,
reliefs, and openwork.
Regarding oil lamps in the Muslim religion, the
Quran (24:35) cites that: “God is the Light of the
heavens and the earth. The parable of His light
is, as it were, that of a niche containing a lamp;
the lamp is [enclosed] in glass, the glass
[shining] like a radiant star: [a lamp] lit from a
blessed tree - an olive-tree that is neither of the
east nor of the west the oil whereof [is so bright
that it] would well-nigh give light [of itself] even
though fire had not touched it: light upon light!
God guides unto His light him that wills [to be
guided]; and [to this end] God propounds
parables unto men, since God [alone] has full
knowledge of all things".
The craftsmen of the Islamic period founded an
artistic language that became a recognizable
characteristic of Islamic metalwork and which
continued with only minor changes to this day.
Although most of the Islamic metal objects were
functional, they remained artistic in their style.
This is a wonderful example of oil lamps from
this period. (LK)