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Korea

Incense burner

Silvered bronze | 22.0 x 21.0 x 14.5 cm (whole object) | RCIN 75048

Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle

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  • Incense burner of rectangular silvered bronze with a slightly domed cover with pierced foliate design and a round finial. The body is stepped inwards near the top with two handles; then bombe shape to rectangular bracket shaped base with four feet. The sides are etched with foliate design and key pattern.

    This antique-shaped metal incense burner (or brazier) was one of a pair sent by King Gojong of Korea to Queen Victoria as a Diamond Jubilee gift in 1897. Traditionally, such portable braziers were used for heating rooms, cooking, boiling water for brewing tea and to heat irons. Each side of the burner is decorated with bats, characters and leaves. The lid has a lotus-shaped knob and features openwork of a flower and bird design.

    Provenance

    Presented to Queen Victoria by King Gojong of Korea (later the Emperor of Korea) for her Diamond Jubilee, 1897, with another incense burner (RCIN 75047).

    A selection of the the Queen's Diamond Jubilee gifts was displayed at the Imperial Institute in London in 1899. The official catalogue records that the following Korean gifts were exhibited: ‘Ten Embroidered Scrolls, Twelve Embroidered Pouches, Two Metal Vases and Covers, and a Copy of the Speech His Excellency the Ambassador would have made had he been able to speak English. From the KING OF COREA.’ The two metal vases and covers referred to in the catalogue were actually decorative incense burners - this one and RCIN 75047.

  • Medium and techniques

    Silvered bronze

    Measurements

    22.0 x 21.0 x 14.5 cm (whole object)

  • Place of Production

    Korea