1796 - 1864
The Silk Mercers Bazaar

First Edition lithograph
Full plate: 222
Presented in a acid free mount

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The picture depicts the space between two walls of the Sultan al-Ghuri complex, it is shown roofed over and used as a space for a silk-market, with much gathering for gossip, coffee, and smoking as well as for working and sale of goods.

The Sultan Al-Ghuri Complex or Funerary complex of Sultan al-Ghuri, also known as al-Ghuriya, is a monumental Islamic religious and funerary complex built by Sultan Qansuh al-Ghuri between 1503 and 1505 CE. The complex consists of two major buildings facing each other on al-Mu’izz li-Din Allah street (al-Muizz Street), in the Fahhamin Quarter, in the middle of the historic part of Cairo, Egypt. The eastern side of the complex includes the Sultan’s mausoleum, a khanqah, a sabil (water distribution kiosk), and a kuttab (Islamic primary school), while the western side of the complex is a mosque and madrasa. Today the mosque-madrasa is still open as a mosque while the khanqah-mausoleum is open to visitors as a historic site.

A wooden roof installed to provide shade to the street below links the two sides together.

Construction of the Sultan Al-Ghuri Complex began in 1503 and it was completed in 1505. It was commissioned by Sultan Qansuh al-Ghuri, Egypt’s second-last Mamluk sultan. Qansuh al-Ghuri ruled from 1501 to 1516, and he was the last sultan to rule for such a lengthily time.

Qansuh al-Ghuri served as the governor of Tarsus, and later went on to be the chamberlain of Aleppo. He was well known for the role he played during the war with the Ottomans, a military campaign in which he was heavily involved.

Sadly, Qansuh al-Ghuri suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 75 while fighting outside Aleppo against the Ottoman Turks. The Sultan’s body was never found, and as a result, he could not be laid to rest inside the very costly mausoleum which he had built at the Sultan Al-Ghuri Complex.

During his life, Al-Ghuri was known to be a very energetic, with some reports stating that he was still playing polo regularly at the age of 70.

On one hand, Sultan Al-Ghuri was a man of refinement who enjoyed many gentle things in life, including flowers, music, poetry, and architecture.

On the other hand, he was known as a cruel and very superstitious despot ruler who would dish out exceedingly harsh punishments for crimes committed, whether real or only imagined.