This very rare candelabrum is only the second complete example to have been published, the other being now in the David Collection, Copenhagen (K. von Folsach, Art from the World of Islam, Copenhagen 2001, no.455, p.296). The complete central and upper section of a third, lacking the foot and boss, was found in Medina Elvira (Granada) (El Esplendor de los Omeyas cordobeses, exhibition catalogue, Cordoba, 2001, p.199). Our example has exactly the same layout as the other two, save that the central arched compartment is of square rather than hexagonal section. Each side here has the central column which is also found in each side of the Granada example, but not the Copenhagen one, although the deoration in the section immediately above that is much closer to the David Collection one. A central section alone which has exactly the same format as ours is in Madrid (M. Gómez Moreno: El Arte Árabe Español hasta los Almohades, Arte Mozárabe, Madrid, 1951, fig.390d, p.327).
The most striking thing about this example, which is not found in the others, is the pronounced birds extending from the above the smaller lower birds which are found on the other ones. A very battered fragment of the upper part of the central section in the Valencia Museum shows the same construction, although only one of the upper birds survives intact (Gómez Moreno, op.cit, fig.,392a, p.328). A slightly later fragmentary lamp attributed to 11th/12th century North Africa is much heavier in construction and lacks the delicate architectural form seen here; nevertheless it shows the same upper radiating birds (F. Gabrieli and U. Scerrato: Gli Arabi in Italia, Milan, 1979, pl.243, p.217).