Hanging ornament with seraphim (six-winged angels) - ROM2006_8503_1


Hanging ornament with seraphim (six-winged angels)

Medium:Ceramic (stonepaste, moulded), with chromium-black, manganese-purple, copper-green, and antimony-yellow paints and lead-alkali glaze
Geography: Kutahya, Turkey
Date: 18th century AD
Period: Ottoman Period
10.1 x 8.2 cm
Object number: 955.129.1
Credit Line: Gift of Miss Helen Norton
On view
Gallery Location:Wirth Gallery of the Middle East
DescriptionThese balls were used in the hanging of lamps in churches and mosques across the Ottoman Empire. Originally Ostrich Shells were used for the same purpose, and at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem you can see both being used. The specific function of the balls is to stop mice crawling down the chain and into the lamp, which would have been filled with olive oil - essentally they are a mouse baffle. These balls are decorated with beings with a disembodied head and three sets of wings, which are a way of depictng a type of angel: Seraphim. Seraphim are referred to in one place in the Bible, in the book of Isaiah (6:2) "Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew."
Islamic World
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