Fritware with underglaze design
Overall: 28.4 x 19.5 cm (11 3/16 x 7 11/16 in.); Diameter of rim: 17 cm (6 11/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1944.236
Art of the Islamic World (Islamic art rotation)
Fritware is made of ground quartz, glass frit (partially fused glass), and a small proportion of fine white clay to approximate the light color and weight of Chinese porcelain.
Mosque lamps typically functioned as a lampshade, containing an oil lamp inside. Due to the opacity of this Ottoman lamp, it is likely that its primary function was not illumination. Instead, it would have been hung from chains in a mosque or mausoleum to add to the beauty of the space. This lamp is decorated with bright red carnations and blue hyacinths with additional floral and vegetal elements. The turquoise loops would have served for suspension from the ceiling. It is also possible that lamps like this were used as acoustic devices, softening the echo of prayer and discussion within the mosque’s halls.
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