Censors were a standard element of ritual.  This hammered metal censor is in two pieces.  The upper half of the ball can slide up on the chains.  When open, hot coals and incense can be set within the lower cavity.  When the top is lowered, the censor can then be swung from side to side perfuming the air with incense-laden drafts.  The use of the censor is noted even in the Old Testament (Exodus 30;7-8), where the smell of incense is associated with prayer wafting upwards to God.  (Viollet-le-Duc, Mobilier 2:101)

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