Zoomorphic Incense Burner

Zoomorphic Incense Burner
Khorasan, Iran
12th-13th centuries
Incised cast bronze with openwork
H: 36 cm
Gift of Ayoub Rabenou, Paris
Accession number: 3692-9-64
Photo © IMJ, by David Harris

A rare example of zoomorphic incense burners from the Seljuk period that have survived intact, this receptacle consists of three lion-shaped legs fastened to a round container that holds the incense. The handle is shaped like a bird. The decorative elements - incised palmettes, half-palmettes, and interlace - are in the openwork technique, allowing the fumes from the burning incense to escape. Incense burners were very popular under the Seljuk Dynasty, when the zoomorphic form was particularly common.

The Israel Museum, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2005

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Pidem Fund, London