124 • An Important Seljuk Bronze Incense-Burner

Afghanistan, 12th century AD
Size: 28 cm long

There are many incense burners in the form of a lion that have survived from this period.  This unique example has two lion heads framing a central head of a gazelle, probably a Saiga, a species that is exclusive to the Steppes, with its characteristic long muzzle.  Such objects are a reminder of the importance of perfume within Islamic society, where each family had its own recipe that was handed down from generation to generation.