Incense burner

Historical period(s)
Delhi Sultanate period, 15th century
H x W x D: 17.2 x 12.2 x 14.9 cm (6 3/4 x 4 13/16 x 5 7/8 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 03: Engaging the Senses: Art in the Islamic World
Metalwork, Vessel

Incense burner

casting, Delhi Sultanate (1206 - 1526), incense, India, lion, WWII-era provenance

From the 1960s
Mr. F. Momtaz (died 1985) and Mrs. F. Momtaz, Iran, Paris, and London, from the 1960s [1]

To 1991
John Lawrence Fine Arts, London, to 1991

From 1991
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from John Lawrence Fine Arts in 1991


[1] According to Mrs. F. Momtaz, the object was in the collection of her husband, a prominent dealer in Islamic art, during the 1960s. She and her husband left Iran in about 1950 and moved to Paris; around 1960 they moved to London, where, until his death in 1985, Mr. Momtaz had a gallery near Portobello Road (see Curatorial Note 3 in the object record).

Previous Owner(s)

John Lawrence Fine Arts
Mr. and Mrs. F. Momtaz


This incense burner, cast in the shape of a lion, was made in the Deccan area of India during the Islamic Sultanate period (ca. 1206-1526).  The back compartment was concealed with a lid, which has been lost; incense burning in that compartment would send smoke out of the perforated chest and the mouth. The piece merges an imported Islamic form—an animal-shaped incense burner—with shapes common to Indian art such as the elephant and lion with horns and bulging eyes.

Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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