Incense burner

Egyptian or Syrian
5th–6th century

Object Place: Middle East, Byzantine


18 x 11 cm (7 1/16 x 4 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Leaded Bronze (75.3% copper, 7.6% tin, .6% zinc, 16.5% lead)

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Asia, Europe, The Ancient World



Censer in two pieces. Cast, chased, punched, and soldered. The lower part, in the shape of a chalice with a flared base and small knop between the shaft and bowl, has three soldered loops (two for the hinge and one for the clasp). A series of chased parallel lines decorate the bowl and base. The dome-shaped lid has a knob at the top pierced with a hole for a chain, a soldered loop for the hinge, and a small hole for the missing latch. Openwork rinceaux with grape leaves and long-tailed birds nibbling at bunches of grapes fills the central area of the lid. Above are two chased bands and the openwork inscription; below is a band of punched circles.


Until 1950, Charles Bain Hoyt; 1950, bequest by Hoyt to the MFA. (Accession date: May 11, 1950)

Credit Line

Bequest of Charles Bain Hoyt