A jade incense burner

Jade incense burner


Ming dynasty
Width across the handles: 8 in, 20.3 cm

after an archaic bronze gui, the incense burner is supported on a tall spreading foot and has a well-rounded body with a constricted neck and an everted lip; two loop handles, each emanating from a dragon’s head, join the rim to the body. The sides are decorated with vertical ribs below two high relief taotie masks flanked by short notched flanges and low-relief simple animal masks; the foot is incised with a simple scroll and the handles are worked in low relief with clouds. The stone is a mottled celadon-green and brown tone.

Formerly in the collection of Queen Marie of Romania.

For similar examples, see Joan M. Hartman, Three Dynasties of Jade (Indianapolis, 1971), no. 11, p. 13; and Zhang Guangwen, Jadeware (I): The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum (Shanghai, 2008), no. 271, p. 256.

For related vessels, see Tibet Museum, Jade Selection from Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties in the Tibet Museum (Beijing, 2005), no. 10, p. 41; and Barry Till and Paula Swart, Chinese Jade: Stone for the Emperors (Victoria, British Columbia, 1986), pl. XXVI.