Quantcast

Three bird-shaped incense burners

Object Name:
Incense burner
Date:
12th–13th century
Geography:
Central Asia or Eastern Iran
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Bronze; cast, pierced, and engraved
Dimensions:
9 13/16 x 3 9/16 x 7 3/8 in. (25 x 9 x 18.8 cm)
Classification:
Metal
Credit Line:
Purchase, Avna Cassinelli Gift, in memory of Patti Cadby Birch, and Friends of Islamic Art Gifts, 2008
Accession Number:
2008.460
  • Description

    Incense was widely used in the medieval Islamic world. At receptions and special events servants would waft the guests with the aromatic smoke emanating from the openwork of the incense burner and sprinkle them with drops of scented water. This bird-shaped incense burner represents a class of metalwork that would have been sold at market. Birds figure prominently in the decorative repertoire of the Seljuq period, and were probably associated with good fortune.

  • Provenance

    Sheikh Saad Abdallah Al Sabah, England (from at least 1973–2008); [ Sara Kuehn, Brussels, 2008; sold to MMA]

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
456304:1

Close