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incense-burner

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF,A.44

  • Description

    Ru stoneware incense burner in form of Warring States or Han dynasty bronze or lacquer Lian, with cylindrical body, three cabriole legs, and three raised 'bow-string' lines around body. The incense burner has an ash-grey body covered in blue-grey glaze with fine crackle. There is a ring of five elliptical spur marks on the base, which is glazed.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 11thC(late)-12thC(early)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 153 millimetres
    • Diameter: 248 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Published PDF date : Northern Song early 12thCRoom 95 label text:

    PDF A44

    Incense burner with three cabriole legs


    This unusually large incense burner evokes antiquity through both its shape and glaze. Potters modelled the cylindrical body, cabriole legs and carved horizontal line decoration after antique bronze or lacquer food containers called 奩 (lian), made in the Warring States and Han dynasty period (475 BC–AD 220). The colour of the incense burner’s crackled grey-blue-green glaze conjures up the appearance of ancient jades. In AD1151, General Zhang Jun 張浚, a favoured official of the Southern Song Emperor Gaozong 宋高宗 (ruled AD 1127–62), presented the emperor with sixteen Ru ware ceramics, including a large and small censer. The gift may have included an incense burner like this one.


    Stoneware with incised decoration and celadon glaze
    Ru ware汝窯
    Qingliangsi, Baofeng county, Henan province河南省,寳豐縣,清凉寺
    Northern Song dynasty, about AD 1086–1125

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  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1975 Monochrome pl. 23 bibliographic details
    • Yorke Hardy 1953 p.34, no.A44 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 2002 p.35, no.9 (left) bibliographic details
    • Krahl & Harrison-Hall 2009 pp 28-29, no.6 bibliographic details
    • Pierson 1999 pp 63-64, no.A44 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case53

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF,A.44

Ru stoneware incense burner in form of Warring States or Han dynasty bronze or lacquer Lian, with cylindrical body and three cabriole legs. Three raised 'bow-string' lines around body. Ash-grey stoneware body covered in blue-grey glaze with fine crackle. Base and legs glazed and ring of five elliptical spur marks on base.

Ru stoneware incense burner in form of Warring States or Han dynasty bronze or lacquer Lian, with cylindrical body and three cabriole legs. Three raised 'bow-string' lines around body. Ash-grey stoneware body covered in blue-grey glaze with fine crackle. Base and legs glazed and ring of five elliptical spur marks on base.

Image description

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Object reference number: RRC39335

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