This object is a Gateway object. Gateway objects are significant artefacts in the collection and are used to represent and introduce bigger subjects and themes.


Mosque-lamp, made of stonepaste painted in blue, green and black under a transparent glaze; 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.

Object type:


Museum number:





Ottoman dynasty


1549 (AH 956)

Production place:

Made in: Iznik




glazed, painted


Height: 38.00 cm Diameter: 22.80 cm Diameter: 15.00 cm (foot)



Exhibition history:

Exhibited: 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'

Acquisition names:

Donated by: Charles Drury Edward Fortnum

Acquisition date:


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. It is dated on the foot ring 956 AH (AD 1549) and signed by the potter Musli and dedicated to the saint associated with Iznik, Eşrefzade Rumi (d. 1469). Inscription: ..let that ocean [of esoteric knowledge] who is Eşrefzade in Iznik enjoy [any spiritual benefit]. In the year 956, in the month of Jumada al-Ula. The painter [responsible is] the poor and humbel Musli] (Carswell 1998: 66-7) Atasoy, N and J. Raby. Iznik: The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey (1989) fig.239, 355; Carswell, J. Iznik Pottery 1998 figs 39-40. 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).