Artistic Handcraft -Incense burner in the shape of a cockerel (young rooster)

Bronze, copper damascene
Size: H. 28 cm
Origing and time: Iran/Persia, 11th Century
Catalogue: Schätze des Aga Khan Museum, AKTC
Inv. No. AKM 00602

The bird motif is a popular pattern for incense burners, a practical and at the same time decorative item used to scent the indoor climate with fragrant smoke. This specimen in the shape of a cockerel was sculptured in Khorasan style. The eyes display an inlay of turquoise beads. Turquoise was believed to protect against the "evil eye" and to safeguard the possessor of such an object. A particular feature is a second bird´s head located at the cockerel's tail end. The incense burner was sculptured with technical expertise and practical skill. Frankincense is inserted into the burner through an opening in the abdomen to which a small hinged cup is fitted to retain the fuel while allowing the burner to be put back into an upright position. AF