Pair of metal candlesticks
Islamic Museum, al-Aqsa Mosque / al-Haram al-Sharif
Hegira 6th century / AD 12th century
Cast iron, put together with iron rings.
Height 267 cm
A pair of identical cast iron candlesticks in the Gothic style, each of which assumes the shape of an axial tree form, similar to the shape of a pomegranate tree. The candlestick is supported on three legs, composed of two pieces cleaving to the iron, held and brought together by iron rings. The legs bend gradually to delimit the form of the relatively long shaft of the candlestick. At the juncture where the three legs join, there are three quite long stems mimicking additional shoots of a tree. Each shoot carries a small candleholder. The principle stalk continues to climb, branching out at the top into three levels of leafy branches. Each level consists of three branches bearing blossoms resembling pomegranate flowers. The branches become smaller as the candlestick climbs in height, thus forming a versatile composition that imitates the natural form of a tree. The top of the candlestick forms a large candleholder that is bigger than the holders below. Suspended from the apex of the candlestick are three glass oil containers that were used as lamps.View Short Description
A pair of identical iron Gothic-style candlesticks from the Dome of the Rock. Each is in a tree shape similar to a pomegranate tree, with three legs forming the tree shaft. There are a number of holders on each candlestick for candles and three oil lamps. The candlesticks are a product of the Crusader period.
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
The candlesticks are dated by comparison of technique and decoration with other pieces, in particular those objects that date to the same period, specifically the iron grille that was produced to protect the rock at the Dome of the Rock.
The two candlesticks were transferred from the Dome of the Rock in around 1960.
Jerusalem was narrowed down as the place of production for these candlesticks because they closely resemble the metal grille, also from the Dome of the Rock and probably made in Jerusalem. Both are, therefore, not only assigned to Jerusalem on the basis of the belief that they were both produced for the Dome of the Rock, but are also considered to have been produced by the same craftsman.
Hunt, L. A., “Crusader Sculpture and the so-called Templar Workshop: A Reassessment of Two Carved Panels from the Dome of the Rock in Al-Haram al-Sharif Museum in Jerusalem”, in Palestine Exploration Quarterly, No. 132, 2000.
Jacoby, Z., “The Workshop of the Temple Area in Jerusalem in the Twelfth Century: Its Origin, Evolution, and Impact”, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte,No. 45, 1982.
Jacoby, Z., “The Provencial Impact on Crusader Sculpture in Jerusalem: More Evidence on the Temple Area Atelier”, in Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, No. 48, 1985.
Nazmi Al-Ju'beh "Pair of metal candlesticks" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2017. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;pa;Mus01;13;en
Prepared by: Nazmi Al-Ju'behNazmi Al-Ju'beh
Nazmi Al-Ju'beh is an archaeologist and historian and Co-Director of RIWAQ, Centre for Architectural Conservation in Ramallah, Palestine. He studied at Birzeit University in Palestine and at Tübingen University in Germany. He taught at Birzeit University and at al-Quds University. He was Director of the Islamic Museum, al-Haram al-Sharif, Jerusalem, and directed various cultural heritage projects in Palestine, including surveys of archaeological and architectural sites. He was a major contributor to Pilgrimage, Sciences and Sufism: Islamic Art in the West Bank and Gaza (Vienna: MWNF, 2004) and is the author of numerous publications on the history, archaeology and cultural heritage of Palestine.
Copyedited by: Majd Musa
Translation by: Amal Sachedina (from the Arabic).
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez
MWNF Working Number: PA 13