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incense-burner

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF.64

  • Description

    Stoneware incense burner with depressed globular body, short cylindrical neck, two loop handles and three short legs. The incense burner has opaque greenish-grey glaze on body with even crackle stained brown on exterior. There is an inscription on the base.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1700-1773
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 65 millimetres
    • Diameter: 109 millimetres
    • Diameter: 95 millimetres (mouth)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        inside cover
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        on base
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        質堅色滋潤,三足鐵釘承。乳突疑流汗,耳沖可繫繩。千年火氣泯,一縷篆煙凝。底用叁鼻觀,居然入定僧。 乾隆癸巳叄春月御題
      • Inscription Transliteration

        zhi jian se zi run, san zu tie ding cheng; ru tu yi liu han, er chong ke ji sheng; qian nian huo qi ming, yi lv zhuan yan ning; di yong san bi guan, ju ran ru ding seng . Qianlong guisi ji chun yue yuti
      • Inscription Translation

        The ware is solid and of surface sleek.
        With three supporting feet. 'the iron nails',
        With springing nipples rich with promised milk
        And pierced ears through which a cord might pass.
        Its kiln-gloss of an age remote has gone
        With curling steam of incense smoke condensed
        Alas! What boots it to easy fragrance to recapture
        When like a Buddhist monk. It broods in contemplation lost?
        Composed by the Qianlong Emperor in the third spring month of the cyclical year guisi (AD 1773).
      • Inscription Comment

        Translated by Hobson 1934, p. 16 Collected Works of the Qianlong Emperor, vol. 20, section IV
      • Inscription Type

        seal
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        古香
      • Inscription Transliteration

        guxiang
      • Inscription Translation

        ancient fragrance
      • Inscription Type

        seal
      • Inscription Position

        at end of inscription
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        太璞
      • Inscription Transliteration

        taipu
      • Inscription Translation

        supreme simplicity
      • Inscription Type

        seal
      • Inscription Position

        inside wooden cover at end of inscription
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        比德
      • Inscription Transliteration

        bide
      • Inscription Translation

        measure of virtue (or more literally 'compared to virtue')
      • Inscription Type

        seal
      • Inscription Position

        inside wooden cover at end of inscription
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Content

        朗潤
      • Inscription Transliteration

        langrun
      • Inscription Translation

        clear and unctuous
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Southern Song dynasty or laterRoom 95 label text:

    PDF 64

    Incense burner with guan-type glaze and inscription


    This incense burner is delicately potted and stands on three legs. Its form derives from ancient Chinese bronzes. 官 (guan ‘official’) celadon glaze was invented in the Southern Song dynasty (AD 1127–1279) and much copied in the Qing dynasty. This example has a Qianlong inscription on the base which reads: 質堅色滋潤,三足鐵釘承。乳突疑流汗,耳沖可繫繩。千年火氣泯,一縷篆煙凝。底用叁鼻觀,居然入定僧。 乾隆癸巳叄春月御題 (zhi jian se zi run, san zu tie ding cheng; ru tu yi liu han, er chong ke ji sheng; qian nian huo qi ming, yi lv zhuan yan ning; di yong san bi guan, ju ran ru ding seng . Qianlong guisi ji chun yue yuti 'The ware is solid and of surface sleek.With three supporting feet. 'the iron nails', With springing nipples rich with promised milk, And pierced ears through which a cord might pass. Its kiln-gloss of an age remote has gone, With curling steam of incense smoke condensed, Alas! What boots it to easy fragrance to recapture, When like a Buddhist monk. It broods in contemplation lost? Composed by the Qianlong Emperor in the third spring month of the cyclical year guisi (AD 1773).') The seals at the end read: 古香 (guxiang 'ancient fragrance' and 太璞 (taipu 'supreme simplicity').


    Stoneware with guan-type crackled glaze
    Guan-type ware
    Probably Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
    Qing dynasty, about AD 1700–1800

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Hobson 1934 p. 16, pl. XV bibliographic details
    • Yorke Hardy 1953 pp 17-18, no.64, pl.VII bibliographic details
    • Pierson 1999 pp 40-41, no.64 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case8/sh8

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    4 May 2010

    Reason for treatment

    Permanent Exhibition

    Treatment proposal

    Replace old discoloured restoration foot with new colour matched epoxy fill

    Condition

    During handling one of the foots of the incense burner had fallen off. It had been previously made up of plaster? and shellac and had been attached with a metal dowl and adhesive.

    Treatment details

    The curator decided that this old repair should be replaced.

    The excess adhesive was removed from the edge of the broken foot with acetone swabs and a scalpel. Any remanants were removed with the steam cleaner and escess water was removed with tissue.

    The foot was then left to dry over a week.

    An epoxy core was built up extending from the broken foot using Fynebond Epoxy resin, fumed silica and pigments matching the ceramic's body. This was cut back with a scalpel when cured and sanded with various grades of micromesh. A glaze was then built up around this, matching the surface of the ceramic using again Fynebond epoxy resin, fumed silica and pigments. Again this was shaped and sanded to a polish similar to that of the rest of the ceramic's glaze.

    The old restoration was returned with the incense burner to Asia.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    R. L. Hobson, 1934 records: 'From the Imperial Collection, Peking. Cf. "Hsiang's Album", Fig. 5.'

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF.64

Stoneware incense burner with depressed globular body, short cylindrical neck, two loop handles and three short legs. The incense burner has opaque greenish-grey glaze on body with even crackle stained brown on exterior. There is an inscription on the base.

Copyright SOAS All rights reserved

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Object reference number: RRC38483

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