The Iranian Lighter

One of my graduate students – from Iran – brought a lighter back from a recent trip back home. The lighter, crafted by a street vendor, is covered by a mosaic of individually placed pieces of gold leaf, wood, paper, and flakes of glass or stone. See the image below – I’ve shown a detail of the design and two different sides:

It’s a strange mix of “high” and “low” – the lighter itself is obviously mass produced, but the hand-made feeling of the design seems really considered. It is interesting to have this device that produces light and heat share designs that are related to those that animate great structures such as the Sheik Lotfallah Mosque, seen here:

Muqarna in Sheikh Lotfallah Mosque

Do a google search for this Mosque – it’s really astoundingly beautiful. Thanks for the lighter, Zeinab!

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