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Object Description
This incense burner, thurible, is attached to a long chain with bells on it. The burner is composed of two metal parts that are attached by three chains that are threaded through loops on the points of the center pieces of both halves. The three chains, and an additional one that it linked to the very top of the piece, are attached to a small hat-like, metal piece. There is a large ring at the top of the hat and while the three side chains are securely attached to the piece, the chain from the top goes through a small hole and ends with another larger loop. Each chain has three bells on it. The top half of the incense burner is heavily decorated. At its very peak it has a standing metal piece with a cross inspired metal cut out design. Below that the piece is vaguely conically shaped but with geometric concaves and sharp spikes coming off the areas that are flat topped and already pointed outwards. The spikes are on two levels of concave and convex patterns with 6 spikes on each row. These rows are textured with geometric lines and small holes. They are separated by an abstract wave or leaf decoration. The bottom row is bordered with a series of large smooth arches over textured metal. The top piece ends in a smooth six sided lip, it is from this lip that the loops- through which the chains are attached- are fixed. On one side the lip is inscribed with "Nziva Kaz(?)iava." The bottom half of the piece meets the top with an idental six sided lip. On one side (not the same side as the upper inscription), there is an inscription that locates the piece in "Tripoli, Greece" in Greek. The bottom is shaped and decorated like a vase. It has a cup like stand that is decorated with swooping garlands and vaguely floral patterns. The stand then ends with a smaller six sided stand (exactly like the ones above by smaller). The chains allow the two pieces the be slightly separated. In the center of the bottom piece is a separate dish used as a burner with the remnants of ash still in the bottom. There are also three small square objects that are purple and white in the botom. The inside of the top has been stained black with soot.
A thurble is a chained metal incense burner that is used in religious ceremonies. The holes in the top alow the incense smoke out and oxygen in to keep the charcoal burning. The burning incense represent the prayers going up to heaven. The number and direction of the swings has significant ceremonial meaning and are used differently in different ceremonies or different parts of ceremonies. The bottom lip is inscribing with "Tripoli, Greece" in Greek. This could mean that it was made there or used there. The other inscription has an unrecognizable letter it in.
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Thurible, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/9832. Accessed 10/28/21.