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Keywords:

  • pigments;
  • Mamluk;
  • glass;
  • lamp;
  • lapis lazuli

On-site Raman spectroscopy is used to investigate four mosque lamps and a bottle dating back to the 13–14th centuries (Syria and/or Egypt, Mamluk period) from the Department of Islamic Art, Musée du Louvre, Paris. The pigments and the enamelled glass matrix have been identified in order to discuss their technology. A comparison is made with one masterpiece from the 19th century made by Brocard. The results obtained for blue (lapis lazuli or Co-coloured glass), yellow (Naples yellows or zinc/chrome yellow), green (mixture of the aforementioned blue and yellow pigments or lead chromate for restorated foot) red (hematite), white (cassiterite or arsenate) and pink (hematite and cassiterite) pigments are presented. The consistency of the pigments period of use/technology with the datation proposed for each artefact is evaluated. For one lamp, the detection of quartz in some places of the hematite-rich glassy layer supporting the gold is related to the search of a physical bonding with the artefact body. Carbon residues in such enamel are consistent with the use of an organic medium to place the enamel powder before the firing. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.