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Iran, A.H. 708/A.D. 1308–9
Bronze, inlaid with silver
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Gift of Mrs. Edward Jackson Holmes (55.106)
cat. 160
Photo © 2002 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
[click images for full object view]

Candlestick Candlestick

The practice of endowing religious monuments with lighting devices was viewed as a meritorious act in Iran even before the advent of Islam.



A highly placed minister of Sultan Öljeitü gave this exceptionally large candlestick to the tomb of a revered Sufi saint, Abu Yazid al-Bastami. It represents the growing acceptance and legitimization of Sufi, or mystical orders, in Ilkhanid society. 



Made of brass inlaid with silver, it is decorated with floral designs and cartouches. The base bears an inscription inlaid in silver with the name of the donor, Karim al-Din al-Shugani. The inscription notes that the candlestick was given to the mausoleum at Bastam, “in the year seven hundred and eight of the hijra,” or A.D. 1308–9.

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