Silver Pierced Mughal Mausoleum-shaped Incense Burner North India 19th century
height of burner: 19cm, height with chains: 42cm, weight: 515g
This very fine incense burner, of engraved and pieced hammered sheet silver is suspended from three silver chains. It has six feet. The sides and a prominent domed cover that pulls off are embellished with particularly fine open-work comprising trellised arabesques interspersed by flowerheads. The cover is topped by a roundel engraved with a multi-petalled flower and a solid-cast bud-like finial.
The shape is architectural and derived from a north Indian Mughal mausoleum. Possibly, the burner was commissioned to adorn the interior of a mausoleum. Zebrowski (1997) illustrates a variety of Deccan and north Indian mausoleums such as the mid-sixteenth century Tomb of Sultan Jamshed Qutb Shah (r. 1543-50) in the Deccan that undoubtedly provided the impetus for forms such as this incense burner.
The burner is without damage or repairs.
References: Zebrowski, M., Gold, Silver & Bronze from Mughal India, Alexandria Press, 1997.