Perfume Burner Surmounted by a Satyr, Workshop of Desiderio da Firenze (Italian, born Florence, active Padua, 1532–45), Binary alloy (copper, tin, with traces of zinc, iron, nickel, silver, and antimony); a brown to olive green patina and minor traces of gilding.

Perfume Burner Surmounted by a Satyr

Artist:
Workshop of Desiderio da Firenze (Italian, born Florence, active Padua, 1532–45)
Date:
ca. 1530–40
Medium:
Binary alloy (copper, tin, with traces of zinc, iron, nickel, silver, and antimony); a brown to olive green patina and minor traces of gilding.
Dimensions:
H. overall 50 cm, h. of base 10.5 cm; h. of middle section, including bajonet joint, 15.5 cm; h. of cover, including the bajonet joint 26.4 cm.
Classification:
Metalwork-Bronze
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.1396
Not on view
Perfume burners were used in wealthy Renaissance domestic interiors to impart fragrant aromas through the burning of scented pastilles. The scents emanating from perfume burners were believed to prevent disease and promote physical and mental well-being.
This perfume burner and 1975.1.1397 are of exceptional size, complexity, and quality. Holes throughout the body of the piece as well as in the mouth and ears of the satyr would have allowed the scented smoke to escape from the interior. However, this particular object shows no signs of use, either suggesting that it served a purely decorative function or that the present bottom plate is a later replacement.
Royal Collection, Buckingham Palace; sold by King George V (1865 – 1936) to Joseph Duveen in 1920. Acquired by Philip Lehman through Duveen Brothers in 1923.