Returned to lender The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

Eagle Censer

Not on view

Three related incense burners (in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Malcove Collection, University of Toronto Art Centre, University of Toronto, and Musée du Louvre, Département des Antiquités Égyptiennes, Paris) with ornate domed lids are covered with openwork foliate decoration. Created centuries apart, they illustrate a common domestic object gradually evolving under Byzantine and Islamic rule. Their decoration evokes plenty, the triumph of good over evil, and the promise of eternal life—ideas that occur frequently in the art and inscriptions of the Byzantine and the Islamic worlds.
This censer, covered with a vine scroll, has an eagle with a snake in its beak as a finial. Possibly symbolizing the triumph of good over evil, the motif and the vine scrolls are drawn from the Byzantine tradition. Islamic influence is evident primarily in its construction from a flat sheet of metal.

Eagle Censer, Bronze, cast in parts, pierced, and engraved

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.