Incense Burner - Sultanate Period - 15th Century


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.