Five Examples of the Thurible

One of the most beautiful objects in the area of liturgical metalwork is the thurible -- or at least, it has the potential to be one of the most beautiful in my estimation -- and today I wanted to show five examples taken from different periods, some more gothic in their styling, some not.

I see no particular need to dwell on the matter beyond the presentation of the examples excepting to perhaps say that, to my mind at least, the most beautiful thuribles are those whose proportions are such that they are taller than they are wide, also including at least some measure of ornamental detail.

In modern times we saw attempts to revive certain forms of thuribles which were very much shorter, and while these have historical precedent of course, they are far less visually pleasing in my estimation. This same trend was also seen in other areas of liturgical metalwork, from candlesticks to chalices, having the same less than edifying result in many instances.

Be that as it may, here are five very fine examples of the art of the thurible.

Thurible from St. Anthony's church, Padua. Date unknown. 
Source: Luzar Vestments
Gozbertus Thurible, Trier, ca. 1100. Trier, Photo: © Holly Hayes/Art History Images
Swiss, pre-1477. Source:
Italy, ca. 15th century

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