Damascus: Lantern Makers

Date: c.1890-1906

Arabic: fanārātī

This artisan made lanterns using metal, often in the form of sheet, glass, and leather. These items would have a door to allow a candle to be placed inside. By the 1890s the craft was little in demand due to the introduction of kerosene lamps and the provision of lighting in public streets. See also: Copper Beater (naḥḥās); Glassworker (zajjāj).

Citation: al-Qasimi, Muhammad Saʿid, Jamal al-Din al-Qasimi, and Khalil al-ʿAzm (al-Azem), Dictionnaire des métiers damascains, ed., Zafer al-Qasimi. (Le Monde d’Outre-Mer passé et présent, Deuxième série, Documents III, Paris and Le Haye: Mouton and Co., 1960), p. 343 (chapter 265).

See also: Milwright, Marcus. “Metalworking in Damascus at the End of the Ottoman Period: An Analysis of the Qamus al-Sina‘at al-Shamiyya”, in: Venetia Porter and Mariam Rosser-Owen, eds, Metalwork and Material Culture in the Islamic World: Art, Crafts and Text. Essays presented to James W. Allan (London: I B Tauris, 2012), pp. 272-73.