Lot 441: Byzantine Dove-Handled Spatula
December 6, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 5th-8th century AD. A silver spatula with shovel-shaped blade and slender hatched stem; terminal in the shape of a dove, a suspension ring at the top. 24 grams, 18.5cm (7 1/4"). Property of a retired English University Professor; acquired Bonhams sale, 23 October 2012, lot 223 (with invoice and lot details); formerly with Brockway collection, Florida. This is an incense shovel for use in church ceremonies where incense would have been laid over charcoal in a thurible, or incense burner. The thurible would then be waved back and forth in a cross formation to bless the altar and the congregation; incense was a costly item that was imported from Arabia during the Byzantine period. The dove represents the Holy Ghost and would act as a form of blessing on the incense as it was laid in the thurible.
Condition Report: Fine condition.