Seljuk bronze oil lamp with high stand, Irán, 12th-13th Century AD
Fantastically preserved seljuk bronze oil lamp, with foot and base, composed of four parts that fit together easily to create a fabulous ensemble. The first component is the lamp itself, with a flat hinged lid on a pedestal base, incised kufic inscriptions, a large loop handle and with a three-dimensional bird perched on top, serving as a thumb rest. The second element is a bowl on which the lamp sits, with a wide, concave base and a low crenellated barrier on the rim, possibly to catch any oil that might drip from the lamp. The third component is the leg of the stand and, finally, the fourth element is the flared lamp foot.
The Seljuks or Seljuqs were a Turkish Oghuz dynasty that reigned in present-day Iran and Iraq, as well as in Asia Minor between the mid-11th century and the end of the 13th century. They came to Anatolia from Central Asia in the late 10th century, wreaking havoc in the Byzantine and Arab provinces, which ended the Abbasid Caliphate and considerably weakened the Byzantine Empire with their religious thrust westward. In the 10th century they converted to Islam and migrated southward led by a chief named Seljuk ibn Duqaq, from which the dynasty derives its name.