Description Throughout Islamic history, sultans, princes, and court officials have been active art patrons. This impressive candlestick base was commissioned by Zayn al-Din Kitbugha, who served as saqi, official cupbearer, at the court of the Mamluks in Egypt before ascending the throne in 1294. The heraldic emblem of Kitbugha’s office, a stemmed cup (inscribed in a circle), features prominently in the candlestick’s decoration. Despite its elaborate design, Kitbugha used the candlestick in his household storeroom or pantry. This base was originally combined with a neck and socket—today in Cairo—which together could bear the weight of a single monumental candle.
- The Arts of Islam. Hayward Gallery, London. 1976.
- Renaissance of Islam: Art of the Mamluks. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati; The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento; San Diego Museum Of Art, San Diego; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford. 1981-1983.
- Highlights from the Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998-2001.
Provenance Dikran Kelekian, New York and Paris; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1925, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Transcription] Inscribed base and neck: Zayn al-Din Kitbugha; [Translation] Inscribed base in thuluth script: This is one of the things made for the servery of the lofty authority, the lordly, the great amir, the conqueror, the holy warrior, the just, al-Zayni, Zayn al-Din Kitbugha al-Mansuri al-Ashrafi (of the households of the sultans Qalawun and Khalil)
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1925
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