Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
An arm-shaped censer like this one can be understood as a hieroglyphic representation of one of the most potent rituals, the rite of the presentation of the Eye of Horus. The incense bowl and the falcon terminal represent the Eye, while the arm is the hieroglyph for “presenting” or “giving.” The Eye of Horus was believed to possess the power to heal or protect whoever received it.
ca. 712-404 B.C.E.
late Dynasty 25 to Dynasty 28
Third Intermediate Period to Late Period
2 1/2 × 2 1/2 × 21 1/2 in., 2 lb. (6.4 × 6.4 × 54.6 cm, 0.91kg) (show scale)
Gift of Michael DeBry
One bronze censer in two parts, in the form of an out stretched left hand, palm up, emanating from a papyrus umbel at the end of a long handle which is surrounded by a cartouche-shaped incense cup; the haft being made separately and ending in a stylized falcon's head; on the long side of the stem is a Demotic inscription.
Condition: Excellent although there are traces of corrosion in places, and the incense cup is bent from its original shape with part of its wall missing. Haft and stem are now held together by a (modern) piece of wood which is embedded in the haft.
This item is not on view
Censer, ca. 712-404 B.C.E. Bronze, 2 1/2 × 2 1/2 × 21 1/2 in., 2 lb. (6.4 × 6.4 × 54.6 cm, 0.91kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Michael DeBry, 72.8. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 72.8_PS9.jpg)
overall, 72.8_PS9.jpg., 2018
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What’s the significance of the arm shaped censer?
It was a ritual object, burning incense would have been placed in the box-like form. It would have been used in a temple setting. The falcon head to the left could represent several deities, it is most likely is meant to be Horus.