Exhibitions/ Art Object

Incense Burner

8th century
Made in Eastern Mediterranean, excavated at al-Fudayn (Mafraq), Jordan
Cast copper alloy, openwork
2 9/16 x 4 3/4 in. (6.5 x 12 cm)
Credit Line:
Jordan Archaeological Museum, Amman (J. 15710)
Not on view
Al-Fudayn, an Umayyad residence located on trade routes joining cities such as Gerasa (Jerash) with the Arabian Peninsula, belonged to the exceptionally wealthy great grandson of the third Orthodox caliph ‘Uthman ibin ‘Afan. It was destroyed in the early ninth century, when a subsequent owner opposed the Abbasids. These luxury goods were found together and were perhaps hidden at that time.
The inhabited scrolls and form of this incense burner are in the Byzantine tradition. Once attributed to Coptic Egypt, works such as this one have recently been re-dated to the early Islamic period on the basis of archaeological finds like those at al-Fudayn.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th–9th Century)," March 12, 2012–July 8, 2012.