The existence of a well-established glassmaking tradition in Istanbul is well attested not only by the textual records, but also in miniatures. A magnificent sixteenth century miniature painted by Osman, from the Surname in the Topkapi Library for example, shows as its main scene a glass furnace with various workers, many of whom further back are holding their products (Aslanapa, Oktay: Turkish Art and Architecture, London, 1971, pl.XXIX). Yet not a single vessel of Ottoman glass of the classic period has been identified.
The tradition of clear glass mosque lamps has existed for a since the earliest mosque lamps were made. Even in the Mamluk period, when some of the most opulent of all mosque lamps were made, clear glass examples of a similar size to the decorated examples were also manufactured (Clairmont, Christoph W.: Benaki Museum Catalogue of Ancient and Islamic Glass, Athens, 1977, no.516, pl.XXXI). The present lamp has a body very similar in composition to that of the Mamluk example, but is clearer in colour. The form is also far closer to that of the Iznik pottery lamps than it is to any Mamluk example, making its Ottoman origin most probable.