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Candlestick base

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made in Southwestern Iran

Postcard of Candlestick base.
© National Museums Scotland

Candlestick base

This brass candlestick base was made in south-western Iran during the 14th century. Originally, the base would have had a shoulder from the middle of which rose the socket that received the candle. It is not uncommon that damaged metal items were reused in a totally different context. Thus, this object was misidentified in the museum register as a tray stand.

The candlestick is engraved with medallions containing hunting scenes, fantastic animals, cartouches with inscriptions and flowers. Initially the whole objects was inlaid with silver, most of which is now lost.

Candlesticks like this one were made for the court or the upper classes. Inspiration for the figural decoration was often taken from contemporary book painting and frequently related to courtly life and activities. Other candlesticks of this type, but without figural motifs, were also used in mosques and religious institutions.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-001-236-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  A.1909.547
Date: 14th century
14th century AD
Material: Brass with silver overlay
Dimensions: 8.00" H x 12.00" D
What: Candlestick / base
Subject: Metalwork
Where: Daghestan, Kubachi
Middle East, Southern Iran, Fars
Description: Candlestick base engraved with hunting scenes in cartouches, fantastic animals, cartouches with inscriptions and flowers, all originally inlaid with silver: Southern Iran, Fars, 14th century
  • Melikian-Chirvani, A. S. Islamic metalwork from the Iranian world 8th - 18th centuries, London, 1982 
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