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incense-burner

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF.15

  • Description

    Guan stoneware incense burner of archaic bronze gui form with flattened mouthrim, two round handles with masks and a flaring foot. The incense burner has greenish-grey glaze with regular, brown-stained crackle. There are raised bosses under the mouthrim and on the foot, and raised 'Eight Trigrams' band around the body.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1280-1368
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 138 millimetres
    • Diameter: 276 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Southern Song or Yuan 13th-14th centuryRoom 95 label text:

    PDF 15

    Incense burner with Eight Trigrams


    Guan (official) stonewares are characterised by a thin dark clay body and a thick, glassy, celadon glaze with tiny bubbles and a wide crackle that can appear reddish brown when the body shows through. This incense burner is modelled on an ancient bronze food vessel called a gui. On each side is one of the 八卦 (ba gua ‘Eight Trigrams’) in relief. These are arguably the most familiar symbols associated with Daoism. Trigrams which are made up of combinations of three broken and unbroken parallel lines, are the basis for the 64 hexagrams of the 已經 (Yi Jing ‘Book of Changes’). These hexagrams are in turn interpreted to make sense of the world, its history and its future.


    Stoneware, moulded and with celadon glaze
    Guan ware 官窯
    Hangzhou, Zhejiang province 浙江省,杭州市
    Yuan dynasty, about AD 1279–1368

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  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1975 Colour pl. 26 and p. 308 bibliographic details
    • Hobson 1934 p. 15, pl. XIV bibliographic details
    • Pierson 1999 p.24, no.15, colour, p.60 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2002 p.60, no.43 bibliographic details
    • Yorke Hardy 1953 pp 5-6, no.15, pl.III bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/dc7/sh9

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition notes

    R. L. Hobson, 1934 records: 'From the Imperial Collection, Peking.'

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF.15

Guan stoneware incense burner of archaic bronze gui form with flattened mouthrim, two round handles with masks and a flaring foot.  The incense burner has greenish-grey glaze with regular, brown-stained crackle.  There are raised bosses under the mouthrim and on the foot, and raised 'Eight Trigrams' band around the body.

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Object reference number: RRC38434

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