Perfume burner by Desiderio da Firenze

Three linked sections ambitiously decorated with figures (including three which may represent the gods Jupiter, Neptune and Vulcan), grotesque/satyr/medusa masks, winged putti and numerous swags, shells and garlands.


Bronze & traces of gilding
Height: 51.2 cm
Art Fund grant:
£150,000 ( Total: £980,000; Export stopped)
Acquired in:
Daniel Katz Ltd

Crowning the burner is a satyr, perhaps Pan, seated on a large upturned shell and holding a set of pipes. Burning charcoal would have been placed in the base, heating scented pastilles on the platform above to produce perfumed smoke which swirled out of the carefully positioned holes. This work was acquired with assistance from the Wolfson Foundation.


Sir Julius Werner; Sir Harold Werner; Christie's 2000; Daniel Katz Ltd.

Venue details

Ashmolean Museum Beaumont Street, OXFORD Oxfordshire OX1 2PH 01865 278000

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