Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Incense Burner with Domed Cover

Object Name:
Incense burner
8th–9th century
Attributed to Iran
Bronze; cast, pierced, and incised
H. 5 3/8 in. (13.6 cm)
Gr. L. 9 1/2 in. (24.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1976
Accession Number:
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.
[ Yahooda S. Shenass, New York, 1969–76; sold to MMA]
"Incense Burner with Domed Cover Islamic, Abbasid period (750–1258), 8th–9th century Bronze; cast, pierced, and incised H. 5 3/8 in. (13.6 cm) Gr. L. 9 1/2 in. (24.2 cm) Attributed to: Iran Fletcher Fund, 1976 ." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 36 (1975–1979). p. 17, ill. (b/w).

Canby, Sheila R. "The Scented World : Incense Burners and Perfume Containers from Spain to Central Asia." Arts of Asia vol. 42 (2012). p. 122, ill. fig. 6 (color).

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