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incense-burner

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF.672

  • Description

    Porcelain cylindrical incense vase (or censer) with three feet. There is an abstract cloud on each foot, flower sprays and dentil motifs in underglaze cobalt blue at the mouthrim, a band of the Eight Trigrams in reserve against a chevron patterned background, and three panels against a fretwork background, two of which show a man resting on a pile of books, the third a man in a garden setting.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1600-1644
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 118 millimetres
    • Diameter: 144 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Ming 17th centuryRoom 95 label text:

    PDF 672

    Incense burner with the Eight Trigrams and immortals


    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’). The EightTrigrams can be doubled up to create 64 hexagrams which are in turn interpreted to make sense of the world, its history and its future. Unbroken trigram lines are considered to represent the masculine陽 (yang) element and broken lines the feminine 陰 (yin) element.


    Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue decoration
    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province 江西省, 景德鎮
    Ming dynasty, about AD 1600–1644

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  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1976 p.28, no.672, pl.III bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2004 p.42, no.672 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case23/sh8

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF.672

Cylindrical porcelain incense vase (or censer) on three feet decorated in underglaze colbalt blue. Three panels against a fretwork background; two panels show a man resting on a pile of books, the third a gentleman in a garden setting. Flower sprays and dentil motifs at the mouthrim, above a band of the Eight Trigrams in reserve against a chevron patterned background. Abstract cloud on each foot.

Cylindrical porcelain incense vase (or censer) on three feet decorated in underglaze colbalt blue. Three panels against a fretwork background; two panels show a man resting on a pile of books, the third a gentleman in a garden setting. Flower sprays and dentil motifs at the mouthrim, above a band of the Eight Trigrams in reserve against a chevron patterned background. Abstract cloud on each foot.

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Object reference number: RRC39006

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