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Incense Burner (Mabkhara) - The Art of War Initiative

Incense Burner (Mabkhara)


he incense burner (mabkhara) on display is rare and precious because it is constructed entirely from bronze. Although incense burners are common in Middle Eastern homes for everyday and ceremonial use, they are typically made from clay or soft stone. Bronze was a highly prized commodity in trading and sometimes given as a gift of significance. Scented bricks, wood chips, and aromatic oils are burned in the well of the incense burner and fill the house with a pleasant aroma.

The incense burner displayed comes from the northern province of Ha’il in Saudi Arabia, an area where artisan mabakhir are typically constructed. Rife with ornament, this incense burner has a square pedestal base with inward slopes supported by four striated legs that hold an inverted well. Each side of the well depicts different indigenous features of the region. The desert rose envelopes one side of the well while a minaret rises into the sky calling those in the Islamic faith to prayer. 


Gifting Country: Saudi Arabia
Year Given: 1982
Medium: Brass
Credit Line: Col. Abdulla Huwaidi


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