Incense Burner with Domed Cover

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 451

Incense burners like this one were popularly used in the late antique and Byzantine eastern Mediterranean, and their production continued into the Islamic period. In Christian contexts, incense was used in church services, while in the Islamic world it seems to have been used by caliphs in their palaces and by elites in their homes. This three-legged incense burner with a low cylindrical body and a hinged, relatively high domed cover was a common type. The cover, pierced to emit smoke, is decorated with wings and vegetal designs; the legs are shaped like feline paws.

Incense Burner with Domed Cover, Bronze; cast, pierced, and incised

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