A blue and white incense burner

Ming dynasty, 15th century

The censer is of compressed barrel shape supported on three cabriole feet. The exterior is painted with two Makara-dragons below a border of flames beneath the rim. The unglazed base and interior are burned orange during the firing. 

8 cm high


Sotheby’s Amsterdam, 27 October 1993, lot 10
Formerly in the collection of Robert Suermont

The decoration on this censer is unusual and no other censer with this decoration seems to be known. A censer of this form but decorated with flowers, from the Museum of East Asian Art in Bath, is illustrated in The Museum of East Asian Art – Inaugural Exhibition – Volume 1 Chinese Ceramics, Bath, 1993, pl. 145. For a further example decorated with birds, formerly in the collection of F. Brodie Lodge, see Sotheby’s London, 20 June 2001, lot 119.

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