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Some of the most important examples of eastern arts now in the western world

China [Asia]

Incense burner and cover second half of eighteenth century

Cloisonné enamel on copper | 47.5 x 40.0 x 23.5 cm (whole object) | RCIN 26809

Privy Chamber, Palace of Holyroodhouse

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Tripod incense burner with globular body raised on three curving feet emanating from the heads of mythical beasts in gilt bronze, the neck constricted below a projecting rim with flat, channelled top, with a pair of flaring hollow, rectangular handles attached to the shoulder and separated from the rim by cylindrical stoppers. The cover a low dome, with spreading rim topped by a large, openwork, gilt-bronze knob in the form of a five-clawed dragon, its head forming the knop, set on a ring of lotus petals. The body of the vessel, handles and rim decorated with lotus scroll designs on a turquoise ground, with borders of petal panels on the shoulder and lotus scroll on the neck. The cover with blooms and scrollwork in pointed lappets dropping down over a ground of gilt-bronze cloud scrolls in openwork, with ruyi-head border above. The surface of the vessel severely abraded in parts.

Text adapted from Chinese and Japanese Works of Art in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen: Volume III.

  • Creator(s)

    China [Asia] (place of production)

    Chinese (nationality)

  • 47.5 x 40.0 x 23.5 cm (whole object)

  • Presented to Queen Victoria in 1896 at Osborne House by Li Hongzhang, Chinese Ambassador on behalf of the Emperor of China's mission.