Diameter: 8.300 cm (base)
Height: 13.000 cm
Bequeathed by John Henderson
ME OA 1878.12-30.721
Brass candlestick inlaid with silver and gold
Mamluk dynasty, late 14th century AD
Bearing a European coat of arms
Small candlesticks of this type were made in some quantity in Mamluk Syria (1250-1516). Almost all of them bear European shields with a flat top and pointed base and so were obviously intended for export to Europe. The coat of arms depicted on this example (a bend and in sinister chief a duck) suggests that the candlestick may have been commissioned by the Boldù family, an important merchant family of Venice which had good trading links across the Mediterranean to the Mamluk Empire.
The three scenes of animal combats between the shields replace the Arabic inscriptions which are usually the main decorative feature on objects made for the Mamluk élite.