This is a minaret of much more elaborate design than that in the previous lot. It was part of the complex of mosque, madrasa and maristan of Sultan Qala'un. From this view one can easily establish the location of the detail shown in lot 54.
The minaret was one of the most decorated in Cairo at the time of Girault de Prangey's tour, and this fine daguerreotype celebrates that flamboyance. The whole structure is revealed with its vibrant pattern of black and white marble tiles switching from stripes to chequerboard and back to stripes as each square tower diminishes in size towards the carved cylindrical shaft with its domed roof. The towers are further embellished by friezes with calligraphy and geometric patterns and by the acanthus leaf parapet seen in detail in lot 54. Everything sparkles in the sunlight to create a gloriously exuberant panorama. The façade of the building to the left of the minaret is similarly adorned and the sun also lights the stripes, which lead the perspective directly to the minaret. For modern eyes the inclusion of what looks like rough scaffolding in silhouette on the right, adds a satisfying sharpness to such a rich image.
Another minaret from the same complex was photographed in the same format and is now in the collection of the University of Texas.