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Seljuk Bronze Double-Wicked Oil Lamp

Seljuk Bronze Double-Wicked Oil Lamp

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The Seljuk Empire, c. 1037-1194AD, Khorāsān Province, Persia.

Fabulous Islamic cast bronze double-wicked oil lamp, inspired by Byzantine prototypes, are from high medieval Turko-Persian Seljuk Empire, probably from Khorāsān. The rounded, compressed body rests on a spreading trumpet foot with two long spouts with spade-shaped mouth project from the front. Finger ring tucked under the wing-shaped handle. On both sides of the body, a small three-lobed palmette projecting lugs. In the centre a circular hole, covered by a domed lid (now missing). On the foot, an incised zig-zag bands and elegant geometrical designs. The Great Seljuk Empire (1037-1194AD) was a high medieval Turko-Persian Sunni Muslim Empire founded by Tuğrul Beg and his brother Chağribey Beg in 1037. The Seljuks were a subdivision of the Qiniq branch of the Oğuz Turks, originating on the steppe north of the Aral Sea. At the time of its greatest extent, the Seljuk Empire controlled a vast area, stretching from western Anatolia and the Levant in the west to the Hindu Kush in the east, and from Central Asia in the north to the Persian Gulf in the south and was the target of the First Crusade (1095-1099AD). Starting in the 1140's, during the Second Crusade (1147- 1149AD), the Seljuk Empire declined, and was eventually replaced by the Khwarazmian Dynasty in 1194.

Good condition. Wear consistent with age and use. Surface scratches and corrosion due oxidation. Small hole in the spout. Engraved decorations on the body and the foot almost erased by wear. Built up verdigris patina, rich earthen deposits. Size approx. 8,4cm x 17,7cm x 8,8cm.

Provenance: Finnish private collection.

For a similar examples see:

Oil Lamp, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accession Number: 38.40.133 (https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/449344)

Lamp, The British Museum, Accession Number: 1956,0726.10 (https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/W_1956-0726-10)

References and further reading:

Seljuk Turks, History Maps. (https://history-maps.com/story/Seljuk-Turks)

Seljuk Turks, New World Encyclopedia, April 21, 2023. (https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/p/index.php title=Seljuk_Turks&oldid=1109731.)

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