Incense Burner

10th century AD or earlier

The Khalili Collections

The Khalili Collections

Although made as a standing vessel, this incense burner has no handle, and a ring at the apex shows that it was intended to be swung. It is thus midway between pre-Islamic and Islamic types of incense burner, the former deriving from early Christian thuribles in 5th- to 6th-century Syria and Egypt, and the latter from standing vessels in Hellenistic and Sasanian Iran. The pierced decoration of the cover also derives from Late Antiquity. Interestingly, the feet show no influence from the characteristic lions'-paw feet of Coptic Egypt and Umayyad Syria.


  • Title: Incense Burner
  • Date Created: 10th century AD or earlier
  • Location Created: Spain
  • Medium: copper alloy, probably bronze, pierced and with engraved decoration

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