Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Mosque lamp, made of polychrome glazed pottery. The lamp has a pyriform body with three applied ear-shaped handles and a moulding at the juncture with the trumpet neck, on a spreading profiled foot; it is painted in tones of cobalt blue and grey-green outlined in black with chinoiserie cloud bands alternating with small arabesque knots between pointed green-ground half-cartouches filled with black scrollwork; a similar design is repeated on the neck; inscription bands of differing width feature on the upper and lower body and below the rim: the thuluth script is reserved on a brushed ground of vivid cobalt blue with grey-green infills and tiny scattered rosettes; a Naskh inscription with the date AH 956 appears in a series of cusped oblong cartouches around the foot; a narrow band of small tulip buds in reserve panels on the moulding at the neck; the one extant handle with green scales between scrolled blue strokes. The lamp has an open base.


  • School/style

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1549 (AH 956)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 38 centimetres
    • Diameter: 22.8 centimetres
    • Diameter: 15 centimetres (foot)
  • Curator's comments

    Made for the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Inscribed with a Hadith (saying) of the Prophet Muhammad comparing the believer in the mosque to a fish in water and a non-believer in the mosque to a bird in a cage. Published as OA18 in a British Museum slide set entitled 'The Turkish Pottery of Iznik' and with a commentary by R. H. Pinder-Wilson (London 1975).


  • Bibliography

    • Fortnum 1870 bibliographic details
    • Rogers & Ward 1988 148 bibliographic details
    • Burlington 1885 527 bibliographic details
    • Piotrovsky & Vrieze 1999 8 bibliographic details
    • Hobson 1932b fig.100 bibliographic details
    • Atasoy & Raby 1989 fig.239, 355 bibliographic details
    • Blair & Bloom 1994 fig.303 bibliographic details
    • Soustiel 1985 fig.374 bibliographic details
    • Lane 1957 fig.38 bibliographic details
    • Carswell 1998 fig.39-40 bibliographic details
    • Denny 2004 p.18 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G34/dc2

  • Exhibition history


    2000 12 Jun-17 Sept, St Petersburg, The Hermitage 'In the name of the beneficent and merciful'
    1999-2000 15 Dec-24 Apr, Amsterdam, De Nieuwe Kerk Museum, 'In the name of the beneficent and merciful'

  • Condition

    Two handles and sections of rim and foot made up; neck repaired from pieces; handle stuck back; glaze chip and crack to lower body; minor glaze chips to the rim.

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Middle East

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • C.317.EF (Fortnum mark)
    • OA18 (BM slide set number)
COMPASS Title: Mosque lamp


COMPASS Title: Mosque lamp

Image description



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Object reference number: RRM10384

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