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Syrian Cuerda Seca Mina Enamel Hanging Mosque Lamp

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Middle Eastern: Pre 1900: Item # 1102378

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CA 94501

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Syrian Cuerda Seca Mina Enamel Hanging Mosque Lamp

Lovingly hand crafted, this 19th century enameled Mosque lamp was made in Syria using a Cuerda Seca style of enameling. There is some very minor enamel chipping, but considering the size of the inlays, the age of the lamp, it has survived remarkably well. Measuring 7" across by 4.5" tall, the total suspended length is 19". It weighs five pounds, this piece is quite solid and large. This originally had a candle suspended in a blown glass tube but was electrified during the early 20th century. The enameled ring above the lamp was originally where the hole is on the bottom to hold the glass. The carving is beautifully executed and unusual to find on a piece this elaborately enameled, it also shows off the unusual bird and floral design. This is the first piece I've seen with purple and orange glaze, and I have been collecting this type of enamel for several decades. This piece is estimated to be 100-150 years old.
Cuerda Seca enameling is done in the following manner: The design is stamped or carved into the surface after which colored glazes are applied. The contours of the designs are detailed with a mixture of beeswax or vegetable fat and manganese oxide. During the firing, the wax or fat burns away producing contours of red or black that also prevent the differently-colored glazes from running into one another. This technique was created during the Seljuk (14th-15th C.) period in Persia, (modern Iran and Iraq) and eventually made it's way via Syria, Turkey, Greece, and Italy to Spain where it is used extensively in tile and pottery making even today.

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