Damascus: Metalworkers

Date: late thirteenth century

The Egyptian chronicler, al-Maqrizi (d. 1442) records a contract for the manufacture of 200 candlesticks in copper, silver, and gold from the artisans of Damascus in 1293. These were made for the Mamluk sultan, al-Ashraf Khalil (r. 1290-93). The candlesticks described as being made from copper were probably inlaid brass. See also: Copper Beater; Copper Founder; Goldsmith; Silversmith.

Citation: Taqi al-Din al-Maqrizi, Kitāb al-mawāʿiẓ wa’l-iʿtibār bi-dhikr al-khiṭaṭ wa’l-āthār (Bulaq, 1853-55), II, p. 112.

Discussed in: Allan, James, Metalwork of the Islamic World: The Aron Collection (London: Sotheby’s, 1986), p. 50; Milwright, Marcus. ‘Metalworking in Damascus at the End of the Ottoman Period: An Analysis of the Qamus al-Sinaʿat al-Shamiyya’, in Venetia Porter and Mariam Rosser-Owen (eds), Metalwork and Material Culture in the Islamic World: Art, Craft and Text. Essays prented to James W. Allan (London: I.B. Tauris, 2012), p. 265.