The inscription encircling the rim in kufic:
bi'l-yumn wa al-baraka wa al-dawla wa al-surur wa al-tamma wa al-sa'ada wa-al-salama wa al-shukra wa al-shakira wa al-kirama wa al-dawama wa al-'afiya wa al-shifa'a wa al-kifaya wa al-'inaya wa al-'qina'a wa al-nasira wa al-raha wa a-rahma wa al-nusra wa al-qadira wa al-qudra wa al-'ala wa al-shifa'a wa al-dawama wa al-baqa li-sahibihi (with good fortune and blessing and wealth and joy and plenitude and happiness and well-being and gratitude and that which makes grateful and generosity and health and the intercession (of the Prophet) and sufficiency and grace (of God) and contentment and that which gives victory and ease and mercy and victory and that which gives strength and power and grandeur and the intercession (of the Prophet) and long life to its owner)
On the upper rim in cursive:
baraka li-sahibihi , abu bakr bin khidr , al-tajir al-tabrizi (blessing to its owner Abu Bakr b. Khidr, the Tabrizi merchant).
On each of the legs in kufic
bi'l-yumn wa al-baraka (with good fortune and blessing).
A stand as impressive as this must have been made for a very important object. A globe has been suggested, but there is no position on the stand to take a pivot to allow the globe to rotate. Maybe, as a merchant, it was the contents of the vessel contained in the stand that were important. In any case, the quality of the workmanship here is outstanding, as is the condition. It is a piece which rewards further examination. Most unusual are the monsters' heads which peer upwards at the protruding lions from the tops of the steps on each foot. Furthermore, the complexity of the bird forms on the protruding sections of the rim is very carefully worked.
A similar form was seen on a stand sold in these Rooms 10 October 2000, lot 286. Here there is only one central hole where there there were six raged around a central similar aperture. In the note to that lot it was pointed out that the form, without its legs, had been thought to be a polycandelon (an example in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, for example: Baer, Eva: Metalwork in Mediaeval Islamic Art, New York, 1983, pl.30, p.41). Could it be that this is the stand for a particularly large and impressive single glass lamp, which would indeed have been a prized posession at this period?