A zitan incense tool vase
Height: 5 in, 12.7 cm
Carved as a section of tree trunk with knots and branches in high relief. The wood is a characteristic deep purple-brown tone.
For similar examples, see Piccus, Wood from the Scholar’s Table: Chinese Hardwood Carvings and Scholar’s Articles, no. 85, pp. 136–7; Tregear, One Man’s Taste: Treasures from the Lakeside Pavilion, no. W.8, p. 29; and Zhu, Ming Qing Guwan Zhenshang, p. 35 (bottom).