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Arita, Hizen province [Japan]

Pair of incense burners mid-17th century

Porcelain with light celadon glaze | H (overall) 13.7 cm, 14.2 cm; W 23.2 cm, 23.6 cm (whole object) | RCIN 1170

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Distinctive green-grey glazes known as celadon originated in China and were widely imitated by Japanese potters. When Chinese production was disrupted by civil war during the seventeenth century, Dutch traders turned to Japan to meet European demand. Holes in this ox’s nostrils and ears allow incense to diffuse throughout the room.