VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Incense Burner with figural medallions
VU 1683
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Cylindrical in shape and mounted on three feet, this incense burner with a copula-shaped lid features figures of musicians, drinkers and armed guards with a characteristic circular halo around their heads. The vessel’s feet are embellished with a frontal depiction of a two-headed eagle.

History of the Object
This incense burner is a fine example of Islamic decorative metalwork executed using the inlay technique. This method of setting metal into contrasting metal surfaces was developed in the 12th century (probably in Herat). Eventually, the inlaying technique spread to Mosul, and further on to Syria and Egypt, where it reached its peak in the 13th and 14th centuries. Figural motifs for vessel decoration appeared chiefly in the late Ayyubid and early Mamluk eras.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Bronze, gold, silver 
Measurements
Height 23.8 cm 
Creator name
Unknown - Syrian metal-chasing workshop 
Creator date
13th–14th century 
Where it was made
Mamluk Sultanate, Syria 
Geography
Syria 
Time period
AD 13th century ~ AD 13th century 
Creation date
13th Century –14th Century 
Function
Incense burner 
Acquisition
Acquired through transfer from the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, where the object arrived in 1892 from the bequest made by Jan Eduard Neuberg von Neuberg. 
Copyright
National Gallery in Prague 
Acknowledgements
Hana Nováková 
Owner
National Gallery in Prague 
Museum
The National Gallery 
Credit line
National Gallery in Prague 

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