A rare boxwood (huangyangmu) incense tool vase
Height: 3 7/8 in, 9.9 cm
After an archaic bronze hu. The square-section vessel has a spreading foot and rounded sides rising to a waisted neck, carved with two monster-mask handles suspending fixed rings, and terminating in an upright mouth. The wood bears a natural mellow patina.
Formerly in a Western private collection.
This rare vase takes its inspiration from a Han bronze original: see, for example, Laufer, Chinese Pottery of the Han Dynasty, fig. 35, p. 141, a line drawing.
A similar example in jade is illustrated in Xue, Zhongguo Yuqi Shangjian, no. 634, p. 327.