Openwork incense burner in the shape of a lion, Islamic, Eastern Persia-Khorasan
Openwork incense burner in the shape of a lion, Islamic, Eastern Persia-Khorasan

This finely pierced bronze incense burner is a beautiful example of the highly stylized animal statuary typical of Islamic Art. The piece has been made using the lost wax technique, in which a clay mold in the shape the final piece will take is coated with wax; the molten metal is then poured into the wax mold. The impurities in the metal detach from the pure ore and reattach to the clay. Additionally, the molten metal melts the wax, which escapes from the mold via small flues, or pipes, which were created for this purpose.