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Updated: 14 April 2015
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Guan stoneware incense burner of archaic bronze gui form with an everted mouthrim, simplified bronze-form handles, and a low inverted foot. The incense burner has dark olive-grey glaze with a dark, even crackle, irregularly stained. The incense burner has five spur marks on interior, and an inscription and six spur marks on the base, which is glazed.
- Made in: Hangzhou
- (Asia,China,Zhejiang (province),Hangzhou)
- Height: 81 millimetres
- Diameter: 115 millimetres
- Diameter: 88 millimetres (base)
- Diameter: 115 millimetres (mouth)
Inscription Translationnumber 2 (second class)
Inscription CommentThis refers to the grade of ware within the palace. Bing marked pieces were regarded as lower grade than jia marked pieces. Hobson 1934
Inscription Positionon base
Inscription Translationsupreme simplicity
Inscription TransliterationKaogong buru shi zhi qi
suijiu ci wei xishang zhen
gu bing hu er jin jia yi
jie qi pinge you ru ren
ditao se mei xiong se dan
huohou duanchang ou yi chao
baiji qianwen wei bipu
ye cheng jiawan shi geyao
Qianlong jiyou zhongchun yuti
Inscription TranslationWhen it was made, this vessel was deemed unfit for sale by the court official. Now it is a treasure for the table, hallowed by the passing of the years. What was only of the third quality in ancient times, has now become of the highest value. We grade our vessels as we do men. The younger brother’s ware is beautiful in colour; that of the Elder brother is paler. Very great skill is needed to control the firing. Small adjustments make a considerable difference also in the hundreds of tiny crackle lines. Yet now the Ge ware with its ice-crackle has become a treasured work of art.
Composed by the Qianlong emperor in the second month of Spring in the cyclical year jiyou [AD 1789]
Inscription CommentThis is found in: 集部/別集類/清代/御製詩集/五集卷四十八
Inscription Translationancient fragrance
Published PDF date : Southern Song 13thCRoom 95 label text:
Inscribed incense burner in the form of a gui
There is a poem by Emperor Qianlong dated 1786 incised on the base, the character 'bing' incised on the inside. This poem reads 考工不入市之器, 歲久 玆為席上珍, 古丙乎而今甲矣,絜其品格有如人, 弟陶色美兄色淡, 火候短長偶一朝, 白圾淺紋微壁暴, 也稱佳玩實哥窑, 乾隆己酉仲春御題 Kaogong buru shi zhi qi, suijiu ci wei xishang zhen, gu bing hu er jin jia yi, jie qi pinge you ru ren, ditao se mei xiong se dan, huohou duanchang ou yi chao, baiji qianwen wei bipu, ye cheng jiawan shi geyao Qianlong jiyou zhongchun yuti This translates as: When it was made, this vessel was deemed unfit for sale by the court official. Now it is a treasure for the table, hallowed by the passing of the years. What was only of the third quality in ancient times has now become of the highest value. We grade our vessels as we do men. The younger brother’s ware is beautiful in colour; that of the Elder brother is paler. Very great skill is needed to control the firing. Small adjustments make a considerable difference also in the hundreds of tiny crackle lines. Yet now the Ge ware with its ice-crackle has become a treasured work of art. Composed by the Qianlong emperor in the second month of Spring in the cyclical year jiyou [AD 1789]. Two seals at the end of the inscription read: 古香 (guxiang ‘ancient fragrance’) 太璞 (taipu 'supreme simplicity').
Stoneware with celadon glaze
Guan ware 官窯
Hangzhou, Zhejiang province 浙江省, 杭州市
Yuan dynasty, about AD 1279–1368
R. L. Hobson, 1934 records: 'From the Imperial Collection, Peking.'
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Object reference number: RRC38436
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