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Incense Burner in the Form of a Bird

Artist Culture
Persian
Period
Seljuk period, 1038–1194
Date
12th century
Material
Bronze
Made in
Iran, Asia
Classification
Containers, metalwork
Current Location
On View, Gallery 120
Dimensions
7 1/8 x 3 3/8 x 8 3/4 in. (18.1 x 8.6 x 22.2 cm)
weight: 1 lb. 7.2 oz. (0.7 kg)
Credit Line
Eliza McMillan Trust
Rights
Public Domain
Object Number
245:1952
NOTES
This life-sized sculpture of a bird is an incense burner. A small drawer within its chest opens to hold incense. Once lit, the smoke would emanate from pierced holes in its neck. The incised patterns on the wings are a mixture of realistic feathers and interlocking circles, a combination that stems from an aesthetic appreciation of geometric patterns rather than from a desire to avoid life-like realism. Before the late 18th century, all Islamic art objects were functional in some way.
- 1952
Heeramaneck Galleries [Nasli M. Heeramaneck (1902–1971) and Alice Strong Arvine Heeramaneck (1910–1993)
], New York, NY [1]

1952 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Heeramaneck Galleries [2]


Notes:
[1] Handwritten and signed inventory/bill of sale from Heeramaneck Galleries dated October 13, 1952 [SLAM document files].

[2] Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control, October 10, 1952.
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