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.
- Made in: Hangzhou
- (Asia,China,Zhejiang (province),Hangzhou)
- Height: 138 millimetres
- Diameter: 276 millimetres
Published PDF date : Southern Song or Yuan 13th-14th centuryRoom 95 label text:
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 易經 (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
On display: G95/dc7/sh9
R. L. Hobson, 1934 records: 'From the Imperial Collection, Peking.'
If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Object reference number: RRC38434
British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.
The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.