A bronze incense burner

A bronze incense burner


Late Ming dynasty
Width: 5 in, 12.7 cm

The S-form sides rise from a very short, tapered foot and are set with two fish-shaped handles. The recessed base is cast with an apocryphal Xuande mark. The bronze bears extensive remains of a black lacquer coating with areas of green in imitation of the ancient.

For an example of a Northern Song ceramic censer, on which this form is based, see Mino and Tsiang, Ice and Green Clouds: Traditions of Chinese Celadon, no. 64, pp. 164–5.

For similar bronze censers, see Chen, Da Ming Xuande Lu Zonglun, pl. 31, p. 66; and Huang, Jinyu Qingyan, no. 160, p. 227.