Sunday, January 02, 2011

Aydakin al-Bunduqdari

I was viewing an exhibition of Islamic art on the Met's website and came across this beautiful lamp:

The lamp is from around the year 1285, and decorated the Khanqah al-Bunduqdariyah, a small mausoleum of Aydakin al-Bunduqdar located in Cairo, Egypt. As far as I can tell, Aydakin was a nobleman of the court, who earned his rank as a crossbowman.  A picture of the tomb is accessible via the Eternal Egypt site below:

The time period of the lamp and mausoleum date to the Bahri Mamluk dynasty of Egypt, less than 10 years after the death of Sultan Baybars, a ruler who established the Mamluks as a major world power. Sultan Baybers rose from slave to sultan and defeated both Crusader armies on the west and Mongol armies from the east, including the epic battle of Ayn Jalut, which ended the expansion of the Mongols.

The lamp came from the collection of J.P. Morgan and was donated to the Met. How he ended up with a 13th century lamp from a tomb in Cairo would probably also make a good story...

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