Das Mittelalter 25 (2):311-337 (2020)

Through the medium of a brass candlestick made in a sixteenth-century German foundry, I discuss the Christian European household’s sensory engagement and spatial control of the Muslim body. I argue that the Europeans’ sensory experience of the turbaned candlestick reflects and reinforces their conceptualization of Islamic culture, which is a blend of fear and fascination. The turbaned candlestick allows us to explore issues rarely discussed in the study of metalwork and the European imagery of ‘the East’. The shape and scale of the candlestick suggest that it could have been treated both as a statuette and as a piece of furniture. The inanimate candlestick would have felt livelier when the user touched its body and felt heat, flame, light and smoke from the candlestick. My analysis of the candlestick suggests that it might have been experienced through a comprehensive play of senses.
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DOI 10.1515/mial-2020-0040
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