This lampstand exemplifies the harmony of shape and design achieved by the Seljuk craftsman. Originally supporting a tray and lamp, it rests on three hooved legs. Its cylindrical shaft and base are covered with a pierced and engraved design of palmette scrolls surrounding medallions that enclose sphinxes and human-headed birds. The meaning of these magical creatures is unclear, but it appears that they are beneficent.
Artist Islamic, Iranian
  • Base and Shaft of a Lampstand
Date 1150 - 1250
Medium Leaded brass
Dimensions 19 x 9 3/8 x 9 1/4 in. ( 48.26 x 23.83 x 23.50 cm)
Credit Line City of Detroit Purchase
Accession Number 29.362
Department Islamic Art
Not On View
DIA BULLETIN, vol 58, no 2, 1980, p 66 (ill).

M. H. DeYoung Memorial Museum, EXHIBITION OF ISLAMIC ART, (San Francisco, 1937), Cat. #185.

Arthur Upham Pope, ed., A Survey of Persian Art, London, New York, 1939, vol. VI, Pl. 1284 A (incorrectly desinated as from the Bostom Museum of Fine Arts.)

Ernst Kuhnel, The Minor Arts of Islam, Ithaca, New York, 1963, p. 167 for. 134 (ill.), pp. 165, 166 described as probably made in Khorasan, eastern Iran.

Julia Henshaw, ed., A Visitor's Guide: The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, 1995, p. 122 descrobed. [/ 123 (ill.)