A RARE BYZANTINE TERRACOTTA INCENSE BURNER
Please refer to our stock # P.114 when inquiring.
c. 5th-8th Century CE
Made of red clay with the body pierced throughout this incense burner stands on a small, flat base. The lower part of the vessel is cylindrical and then widens until it reaches the shoulders of the vessel. Above this is a small neck which terminates in an everted rim.
In good and original condition.
Height: 16 cm (6 inches); Width: 10 cm (4 inches); Base Diameter: 6 cm (2.5 inches)
Worldwide Shipping and Certificate of Authenticity Included in Price.
Export Approval from the Israel Antiquities Authority.
While there are many forms of incense burners in the ancient world, this particular example lends itself well to adding in the distribution of the incense throughout the space. Its terracotta construction suggests that it was intended for use by a private individual rather than in a liturgical setting where a hanging censor as well as bronze or silver composition would have been preferred.
Incense itself has been used for both utilitarian and religious purposes for millenia and can be found in the history of almost every major religion polytheistic and monotheistic alike. It is referenced in one of the earliest books of the Old Testament in the offerings of Moses where it states “Take ye from among you an offering until the Lord; whosoever is of willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the Lord; gold and silver and brass....and oil for the light and spices for anointing oil and for the sweet incense.” (Exodus 38: 5-8). It is therefore, not surprising that Christianity would continue this tradition in their own church.