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Censer

Date:
6th century
Geography:
Made in Possibly Constantinople
Culture:
Byzantine
Medium:
Cast copper alloy
Dimensions:
Overall (including chain): 30 1/2 x 4 5/16 in. (77.5 x 10.9 cm) Overall (vessel only): 3 1/4 x 4 5/16 in. (8.2 x 10.9 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Copper alloy
Credit Line:
Gift of Estate of Lawrence J. Majewski, 1999
Accession Number:
1999.519.10
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 300
Censers were swung during church services, usually by deacons, releasing
the sweet perfume of the incense that burned on hot coals within the vessel. The medallions on the long chains would have made changing patterns of light and dark as the censer was moved around the altar and over the Gospels and Eucharistic vessels. The large openwork medallion at the top is decorated with a variant of the Christogram, a monogram composed of the first two letters of Christ’s name in Greek, chi (X) and rho (P).
Lawrence J. Majewski, Wappingers Falls, New York (1950s-1999)
Gómez-Moreno, Carmen. Medieval Art from Private Collections: A Special Exhibition at The Cloisters, October 30, 1968 through January 5, 1969. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1968. no. 84.



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