- Museum number
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.
- Production date
Diameter: 276 millimetres
Height: 138 millimetres
- Curator's comments
Published PDF date : Southern Song or Yuan 13th-14th century
Room 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
- Bibliographic references
Pierson 1999 / Illustrated catalogue of Ru, Guan, Jun, Guangdong and Yixing wares in the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art (p.24, no.15, colour, p.60)
Yorke Hardy 1953 / Tung, Ju, Kuan, Chun, Kuang-tung & Glazed I-hsing Wares in the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art (pp 5-6, no.15, pl.III)
Pierson 2002 / Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art: A Guide to the Collection (p.60, no.43)
Hobson 1934 / A Catalogue of Chinese Pottery and Porcelain in the Collection of Sir Percival David Bt., F.S.A. (p. 15, pl. XIV)
Medley 1975 / Volume 7: Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art (Colour pl. 26 and p. 308)
- On display (G95/dc7/sh9)
- Acquisition notes
- R. L. Hobson, 1934 records: 'From the Imperial Collection, Peking.'
- Registration number