Apulian Incense Holder


A finely modelled Apulian red terracotta thymiaterion, featuring a strongly articulated shape and combined figural and ornamental motives. The columnar upper shaft displays a beautiful and intricate geometrical decoration, comprising vertical bands, rendered in black and dark brown paint. A band of a sinuous wave motif below. The footed bowl above the shaft is decorated with a band of waves to the rim and lines and dots to the tondo.

Date: Circa 4th century BC.
Condition: Fine, complete and intact. Earthly encrustations and minor chips to the surface.


The thymiaterion was used in Antiquity as an incense burner or altar for spiritual and religious purposes and especially in religious ceremonies. Thymiateria were widespread across the Mediterranean and Near Eastern area and could take a wide variety of forms, ranging from simple earthenware pots to elaborate carved, moulded or cast items made from clay or bronze. This beautiful example of ceremonial incense burner comes from the Greek colonies in South Italy, more precisely from Apulia, modern Puglia.

To discover more about Ancient Greek pottery, please visit our relevant blog post: Collecting Ancient Greek Vases.

Weight 600 g
Dimensions H 22 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Museum, accession number 26.60.74.